Eltham College Prep and Multi-Purpose Building

This project features a new facility incorporating three cohesive elements: a multi-purpose space at ground level and learning spaces on the upper level, tied together by an access/gallery zone. Of particular note are the Prep learning zones which accommodate two learning neighbourhoods supported by break out areas, wet areas and outdoor Learning Decks.

Project Details

Architects
ClarkeHopkinsClarke Architects

Award
WINNER: Category 2: New Construction/New Individual Facility

Project Overview

ClarkeHopkinsClarke has a long standing relationship with Eltham College and the new Prep and Multi-Purpose Building is an example of the ongoing collaborative relationship between Client and Architect. Understanding the background, history, and pedagogical focus of Eltham College, shaped the design and planning of the Prep and Multi-Purpose Building to provide a well-equipped, flexible and adaptable learning environment for the present and future.

Located at Eltham College’s Research Campus, the project was developed under the current Masterplan which focussed on providing new and refurbished open plan learning spaces that support the developing educational vision of the school. Centrally positioned between the Early Learning Centre, Discovery Centre and the Primary School building, the facility has been designed over two storeys to address the steep embankment around the site and falls around this area of the school. The new facility features three cohesive elements: a multi-purpose space at ground level and learning spaces on the upper level, tied together by an access/gallery zone.

The ground floor Multi-Purpose space draws together the Primary School community providing accessible, flexible facilities for all students and nurturing the collaborative ethos of the school in the student’s junior years. The upper level Prep learning zones, accommodate two learning neighbourhoods supported by break out areas, wet areas and outdoor Learning Decks. The two learning studios at either end of the upper level of the building are characterised by their large windows that frame and embrace the rural setting of Research to the north-east and city views to the south-west. Outdoor learning decks have been incorporated adjacent to the learning neighbourhoods to allow a seamless blending of indoor/outdoor learning.

The centrally located wet area has been designed to accommodate a full class to increase flexibility and variety incorporated in daily activities, whilst the breakout spaces, stage and tiered seating, and mezzanine reading loft provide areas for focused learning. Open plan, flexible learning spaces are defined by movable furniture rather than fixed walls, and teacher work spaces have been concealed in fixed cupboards to encourage teachers to be ‘on the floor’ and accessible rather than seated behind a desk. The application of passive ESD principles in the design has enabled the creation of a light filled and healthy learning environment, which will assist the promotion of sustainable practices within the school community.

Features include:

  • orientation and planning that allows for diffused natural light to enhance the internal learning environments;
  • eaves and overhangs provide shading during summer and allow light and warmth inside during winter;
  • sensor operated lights increase energy efficiency and ensure use is kept to appropriate levels;
  • rainwater is collected and reticulated to toilet cisterns.

Extensive collaboration with user groups and consultants enabled us to achieve an iconic, dynamic facility that provides inspiring and flexible learning environments, promoting the identity of the school as an independent and forward thinking institution and setting the tone for future works.

This page last updated: Tuesday 11 September 2012