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Casterton Secondary College

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Birthplace of the Kelpie sheep dog, Casterton is a small rural town in far western Victoria. As the only secondary school in town, Casterton SC has an industry-focused curriculum including viticulture, aquaculture, automotive and horticulture subjects. The existing school buildings are typical of post-war modular designs, with a series of linear classroom blocks linked by covered ways. Despite shrinking student numbers, facilities have been maintained with pride and each block has been painted a primary colour, in playful contrast to the rigid geometry of the buildings.

 

Working within the tight constraints prescribed by the Victorian School Building Authority, the new building sits comfortably alongside the existing classroom blocks, using a similar skillion roof form and continuing the colourful primary palette. By twisting the plan off-axis, the new building breaks the rectilinear geometry of the campus, opening up new access routes and spaces between buildings. The traditional school verandah is reimagined to create a deeper, semi-enclosed outdoor learning space that overlooks a north-facing garden. The materials are robust but inviting and as the cleaner attested on a recent visit, “the kids really look after it”.

Project Team:
Architects: Bianca Scaife, Daniel Cooper & Cait Phillips.
Structural Engineer: Lowe Consulting Engineers.
Quantity Surveyor: Plan Cost Australia.
Builder: Locks Constructions.

Photographer: CSA

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