Aussie New School: dynamic projects reinventing education and design
Modern Australian architecture has diverse roots. Based on designs like the famous Sydney Opera House, the country’s contemporary projects radically embrace new aesthetic ideas. Beyond traditional adobe construction to create articulated forms, modern designs emerge as multicultural hybrids both derived and imported from nature. Illustrating this dynamic, Australian educational projects reinterpret vernacular architecture to embody contemporary culture. Representatives of a quintessentially Australian design language, these projects draw on the history of the continent-nation to create a space for learning, recreation and reflection.
Integrating public space and gathering areas into creative learning environments, each of the following projects blends architecture with the surrounding landscape. Inclusive and expressive, the designs explore the country’s unique spatial approaches through the prism of education. Present on a range of scales and parameters, they use new envelopes and sharp angles to articulate the transition and define the interior and exterior space. Capitalizing on the climate and the looks, they embrace their context to reinvent expectations.
St Aidan’s The Link is a new innovation and design center that transforms an existing arts district built in the 1960s to meet the needs of today’s pedagogy. The Link provides new learning spaces that facilitate topics to encourage design-driven thinking and entrepreneurial skills essential to students on their future career paths. The school’s design team and management team seized the opportunity to reuse existing classrooms and build on industrial aesthetics rather than tearing down and starting from scratch.
Andrew Burns Architecture has completed the first stage of a large rural campus in the Greater Blue Mountains National Park. The commission was awarded through an invitation-only competition process, comprising a number of the country’s leading architectural firms. The project emphasizes the student experience, creating a place that extends and enriches the education of the individual, building their sense of wonder, respect for nature and for the other.
Highgate Primary School’s new teaching classes immerse students in a creative environment grounded in the surrounding context, creating new relationships and new ways of seeing their surroundings. The building offers a variety of experience scales, from distant views to intimate classroom experiences. Light, color and pattern are developed as an educational tool extending the classroom curriculum to the built environment.
The learning project evolved through masterRuyton Girls’ School / Woods Bagotr planning of the three metropolitan campuses of Caulfield Grammar School. Early in the process, it became evident that a new pedagogy, strongly rooted in research and developed through professional learning, was emerging in the school. Questions were asked about what learning at CGS would look like in the next five, ten or even fifty years, and how spaces would evolve beyond existing classrooms and collaborative areas to support this.
The Mabel Fidler Building is a new entrance and learning center at Ravenswood Girls’ School and serves as a hub within the school environment. The design of this building was initiated by a master planning process focused on creating an engaging, imaginative and stimulating learning environment. The Mabel Fidler building is designed to be on the scale of existing school buildings and to be seen as a modern insert in a campus of varied buildings.
Penleigh and Essendon Junior Boys School started in an Italian-style mansion on a windy hill, opposite the Essendon Footy Club. This building is exceptional in a residential area dominated by the Federation housing. Slowly the school accumulated much of the property in the block bounded by Nicholson, Raleigh, Napier and Fletcher streets. This new project, a two story block for years 5 and 6 with 3 classrooms above and below, is a significant addition to the school and public interface on Nicholson Street.
Located in the rural plain between Mount Macedon and the Hanging Rock and JimJim Ranges, the new Braemar College Campus creates a unique and stimulating place specially suited for contemporary college learning for 540 students in Grades 5-8. . As the first step in a larger master plan, the college campus creates a special and stimulating place that celebrates education and social interaction, and whose fabric responds to its rural context while respecting the distant views of the surrounding natural sites.
Woods Bagot has designed a new education center for one of Melbourne’s preeminent girls ‘schools, Ruyton Girls’ School, turning the site into a vibrant offering for students and staff. The design moves away from the traditional classroom planning framework where desks line up and a teacher educates from the front, to a model that prioritizes natural light, flexible furniture, and teaching and learning spaces. technology-based learning for task-based students. flexible learning centered.