Meadows Primary School

The site was formerly home to Meadowbank PS which merged with Campmeadows PS to form Meadows PS as part of a DEECD initiative to transform educational outcomes in Broadmeadows. NOWarchitecture responded to the challenge to innovate and inspire a community. As a Community-Hub, security on the Site is graded from the welcoming Foyer, Kitchen and garden, through to the Courtyard and Resource Centre which are accessible to ‘privileged’ visitors then to the Learning Centres as the private domain of Students and Teachers.

Project Details

Architects
NOW Architecture

Award
Winner Category 1: New Educational Facility Construction/Entire Educational Facility

Project Overview

The fundamental purpose of a school is to engage and grow young learners. This Design demonstrates Growth in three ways: 1. Learning spaces which have physically grown in volume from previous expectations and understandings of school buildings 2. Space that can expand and retreat to suit the activity in progress 3. Spaces for student and community growth The site was formerly home to Meadowbank PS which merged with Campmeadows PS to form Meadows PS as part of a DEECD initiative to transform educational outcomes in Broadmeadows. NOWarchitecture responded to the challenge to innovate and inspire a community.

As a Community-Hub, security on the Site is graded from the welcoming Foyer, Kitchen and garden, through to the Courtyard and Resource Centre which are accessible to ‘privileged’ visitors then to the Learning Centres as the private domain of Students and Teachers. The challenge to create an innovative School to reengage learners within a standard budget inspired modular forms. Each module is grown from four internal ‘tree’ columns which branch out to support a softly folded roof. The generous internal volume creates a feeling of openness and a wide variety of zoneable spaces. The modules create sheltered courtyards for a range of outdoor learning settings. The central courtyard is an inner sanctum and includes part of the extensive Kitchen Gardens. The Gymnasium is the gathering space for the community. Its translucent walls create a naturally bright space by day and glow as a proud civic beacon by night. The School connects education with community.

The facility is a place to teach, learn and to support families. The School will continue to grow with its community. Below the tree-canopy in the Learning Areas, reading nooks, staff pods and bespoke mobile furniture define a variety of settings. The modules clearly define the functional relationships of the Learning Centres and connect internally via shared support facilities.

  • The school presents experiential learning opportunities;
  • Expressed structures offer an understanding of engineering;
  • transparent downpipes make the water cycle visible;
  • wind turbines and building integrated photovoltaic panels, which generate 22,100 kWh/year, are prominently located to demonstrate renewable energy sources;
  • changing seasons are observable in the gardens and solar-calendar.

The building is registered for a Green Star Education rating, targeting a 6 star rating. This school enjoys NOWarchitecture’s passive hydrothermal air conditioning. The high raking ceilings allow hot air to rise above activity spaces and exit through upper louvre windows, providing excellent thermal comfort and air quality. Thermal buoyancy expels hot, stale air and pulls fresh air, which has been cooled by the sub-floor water tanks, in through floor grilles.

  • Plantation timber structures slashed construction and environmental cost.
  • Gardens are substantially food producing.
  • Stormwater overflow is directed through a creek bed to create a water permeable site.
  • 720,000L sub-floor water tanks saved 420m3 of concrete footings
  • Low-e glazing reduces glare, heat gain and heat loss
  • Durable Limestone reverse veneer walls provide high levels of thermal mass and acoustic comfort
  • LED and T5 lighting significantly reduces power consumption

This page last updated: Tuesday 11 September 2012