Yarra Valley Grammar Science Mathematics Building

Project Details


Kalinda Road Ringwood , VIC 3134 Australia

Richard Leonard


Dianna Snape

Project Overview

Designed to help students discover and develop their potential, the new Science and Mathematics Building is a world-class facility with diverse learning spaces for group and individual work. Founded on the ideas of collaboration and inquiry, the new facility takes learning into the digital world in which students were already operating socially.

Yarra Valley Grammar 's new Science and Mathematics Building is a reflection of a high level of collaboration between educators and designers, and widespread research to produce a contemporary world-class facility for teaching and learning.

Supporting the school 's pedagogical development, the new facility has introduced dramatic changes away from traditional practice to define a new educational approach. This was particularly the case for science, where the vision was for an approach that was student focused and collaborative, and which integrated seamlessly with digital technology. Workshop sessions with the architects and education settings expert Dr Ben Cleveland helped users to articulate and shape new activities and settings.

During the building 's development, teachers and students contributed to the "Collaboratory ", a prototype classroom that allowed them to trial the new faculty 's design and technologies for a year. With no front, back or teacher 's desk, the Collaboratory has four large interactive screens on its perimeter and two tilt webcams.

The Collaboratory produced outstanding results. Teachers and students learnt how to make the most of the technology and teachers were able to iron out any glitches in the teaching apps.

The building is contributing to the school 's shift towards bespoke facilities for purposeful and differentiated learning, with learning now taking place through engagement with the built environmental and throughout the school rather than solely in classroom lessons. Flexible settings promote a range of teaching and learning activities, from independent study, small and large group work through to lecture and seminar based learning – creating a stepping stone to tertiary-type educational delivery. The design of the various spaces is helping to encourage positive, independent study habits, and small tutorial spaces are occupied throughout the day during private study and recreation times.

It is through a highly collaborative design process that modern education philosophies are successfully integrated into school buildings. Representing an evolution in teaching and learning, this building is serving to help develop students as independent, critically thinking problem-solvers who will be well-equipped for tertiary studies.

This page last updated: Tuesday 26 May 2015

2015 Category 2 New Construction Major Facility