Suzanne Cory High School

The building’s design provides various integrated and flexible learning spaces to create a pre-university environment for high achieving students. Innovation lies in the building’s spatial organisation, which arranges learning, social and administrative spaces in an ‘open’ arrangement around an internal landscaped ‘Agora’ space, the school’s social, spatial and environmental heart

Project Details

Brand Architects

255 Hoppers Lane, Werribee, Victoria 3030

Laurence Robinson, Director


Andrew Wuttke, Wuttke Photography

Project Overview

This project is attracting great interest in the educational profession, for its unique spatial relationships, high quality of facilities, the warmth of the environment and the shear value for money. Designed around a large "agora” space which forms the central social and educational hub for the school, as well as being integral in the innovative environmental strategy. The agora in turn creates a dynamic internal / external relationship with the landscape. The whole school is conceived as a "learning instrument” where the structure and services are put on display and resource use is logged for use in student projects and for community engagement. Even the plantings in the landscape are tailored to learning with separate gardens designed around various parts of the curriculum and linked with specialist project spaces. The building has a powerful connection with its site on the Western Volcanic plains. Geological metaphors were used to generate the building form. Earth from the site forms part of a geothermal heating system and is used to create sheltering berms on the otherwise windswept plains, which also define outdoor spaces. The building uses passive and active solar design. All rain water is harvested for use in irrigation, and recycled water is used for toilet flushing. Any excess stormwater runoff is channeled through swales and retention basins to create wetland environments to attract local wild life. It is the first five star Greenstar rated school in Victoria under the full release of the Education tool, and contains a number of highly innovative environmental strategies including the pressure adjustable ETFE roof to the agora, hybrid ventilation system via subterranean labyrinths, high efficiency hydronic convective heating, and a mix of recycled and rainwater reuse to minimise potable water consumption.

This page last updated: Monday 10 September 2012