Middle Years Positive Education Centre, The Hamilton & Alexandra College
This project is a contemporary new addition to the traditional fabric of the existing school campus. Designed specifically for students in years 6, 7 and 8, the facility was developed to support the school’s positive education vision and was the result of the close relationship forged between CSA and the school leadership team.
During the briefing stage, flexibility of use emerged as an important focus. As a result, the centre contains a wide variety of spaces, both large and small, to suit many different modes of learning. Internally these spaces are all interconnected with full height windows and large sliding doors to provide a high level of transparency, adaptability and passive supervision beyond the classroom.
From the outset, the site strategy was a key driver of the design. Rather than adopting the common model of classrooms surrounding an internal flexible learning area, the ‘L’-shaped footprint of this building embraces the landscape. This strategy has many advantages: it creates a large north-facing frontage, which floods the building with natural light and views; it has a strong link to the outdoors with multiple entry and exit points; and it responds to the surrounding streetscape with an animated façade that wraps around the perimeter of the site.
Although meeting educational needs was the primary focus of the design, the scale and prominent location of the building on the campus also provided an opportunity to create a new architectural identity for the school. The bold streetscape elevations, punctuated by classroom windows, form a new public face and visually connect the centre to the surrounding neighbourhood.
Above all else, the design is intended to create spaces that inspire students to reach their full potential: spaces that are naturally lit, warm, connected to their surroundings and flexible enough to accommodate the ongoing evolution in educational pedagogies.
Bianca Scaife, Daniel Cooper, Mark Gregory, Paul Bayley & Nic Lim.
Structural, Civil, Mechanical, Electrical & Hydraulic Engineers: AGB Group.
Quantity Surveyor: Construction Planning & Economics.
Land Surveyor: Brayley & Hayes.
Building Surveyor: Southern Grampians Shire.
Builder: BDH Constructions.
Photographer: Luke Ray (Images 1-3), Liz Crothers (Image 10), CSA (Images 4-9 & 11-15).