Billanook College (Discovery Centre)

Project Details

Baldasso Cortese

197-199 Cardigan Road, Mooroolbark, Victoria

Devkrishna Mistry


Project Overview

The Discovery Centre is a facility where students engage in project based work in areas of their particular interest. It is a flexible facility designed to encompass the many activities associated with project based work.

Independent learning is encouraged in an environment where students work collaboratively to research their projects.

The need for a Discovery Centre arose as a result of a significant amount of strategic thinking by Billanook College relating to the future of schooling. The outcome of this process defined the nature of teaching and learning in the future and the skills, qualities and attributes of what the College has termed “The Millennial Learner”.

An environment which encouraged independent learning in a flexible, open plan where peer to peer and teacher mentors area easily accessible were key aspirations for the Discovery Centre.

An existing building, which consisted of isolated classrooms on many different levels did not lend itself to be modified to suit the project based work, fluid group groupings and flexible learning required. It was largely demolished and replaced with a large open learning common with adjacent staff support and breakout spaces for intensive learning. An existing science lab has been refurbished to be a project space for fabrication opening directly to the learning common.

The large learning common space has been designed to encourage flexible groupings. Informal lounge furniture has been provided as well as mobile group work benches. Views from this space have been opened to the south through the “oculus” and to the east to the bush landscape.

The learning common is also used for display and presentations for both project work and for seminars for the school and local community. The oculus incorporates a motorized projection screen for large presentations. The learning common plan has been designed to provide 3 different presentation areas.

An existing south courtyard has been removed from site circulation paths to be accessible only from the Discovery Centre. This is used for outdoor project work and spill out area for functions.

The Discovery Centre is one of the focal buildings on the campus. It is used by students from years 7 to 12 for their discovery projects. It is located in the in the Middle School precinct in the north east part of the site. It has a main entrance from the Middle School courtyard, which is one of the key circulation points of the College.

This page last updated: Tuesday 24 May 2016

2016 Category 2 New Construction Major Facility