Chelsea Primary School – The Bunjil Centre

ClarkeHopkinsClarke worked with Chelsea Primary to transform the cellular classrooms and associated areas on the first floor of their beautiful heritage red brick building, into a dynamic, contemporary, student-centred, learning community that respects the building’s heritage and creates adaptable, inspiring spaces for junior students to discover their passion for learning.

Project Details

ClarkeHopkinsClarke Architects

Winner Category 4 - Renovation/Modernisation Under $1 million

34-44 Argyle Avenue Chelsea , Victoria 3196

Wayne Stephens


Rachael Dere

Project Overview

ClarkeHopkinsClarke worked with Chelsea Primary School to refurbish the first floor of their beautiful 1912 heritage red brick building. The school faced a significant challenge as the cellular style spaces of the culturally significant heritage building were unable to support the school’s developing pedagogical vision. With a strong emphasis on respecting the significance of the heritage building within the Chelsea community, it was imperative that the refurbishment remained sensitive to its historic character while providing renewed facilities that create open and engaging spaces that welcome the community into The Bunjil Centre and actively encourage parent involvement in learning activities. The first floor refurbishment effectively transformed the existing cellular classrooms into an adaptive and agile learning community that facilitates student centred project based learning, improves physical and visual connection between learning areas, increases natural light and ventilation, and utilises carefully considered acoustics to support simultaneous and varied collaborative focused learning sessions.

The Bunjil Centre features a central activity hub that contains a variety of exciting and engaging spaces targeted to different learning settings. The hub includes a cubby house structure that acts as a reading nook and home for student resources, an intimate curved amphitheatre seating area for intense focused learning and storytelling, a group learning zone defined by a curved storage element and movable student bag storage, a dais and construction platform to facilitate role play and performances as well as providing a messy create space for large projects, and a central wet play area for make & create and art activities to be incorporated into the everyday curriculum. The central hub links all learning areas and allows for one activity to flow seamlessly into the next as students move through the different spaces.

The new learning spaces enable the development of student centred curriculum, address the specific needs of junior students, and provide an exciting and stimulating learning environment within a heritage setting. The Bunjil Centre supports the school’s current and developing pedagogy by creating adaptable and inspiring spaces for junior students to find their passion for learning.

This page last updated: Monday 10 December 2012