Bayswater Secondary College
Reinventing a school to better accommodate its pedagogy, the needs of its students, and connecting its activities into landscape.
With Baywater Secondary College we were presented with a unique and envious situation – a significant transformation of an existing school, which, by removal of several ageing buildings, did not increase the building density of the site. This in turn allowed the site, with its connection to Dandenong Creek and views to the Dandenong Ranges, to retain its almost bucolic character.
In this context our task was not an addition but a reinvention of the school, allowing its spaces to better accommodate the school’s pedagogy, the learning needs of its students and connect its activities into its landscape.
To do this, we eschewed the need to relate the new buildings to what was retained. Occupying either side of the campus, the forms of these existing buildings’ are oriented to the street and expressive- overtly civic in nature. Our approached was to create, through the middle of the school, multiple connection and viewpoints, buildings seen in the round; an architecture that draws similarities more with rural buildings rather with than urban ones.
As part of the masterplan two new classroom buildings, and administration building and a library were proposed. The classroom buildings’ approach to contemporary pedagogy is based on principles of variety and connectivity rather than privileging large shared spaces. The classroom buildings, in double year level groupings, feature generous covered eave spaces, that together within internal courtyards, alternative between covered outdoor learning areas and breakout spaces along their central axis. Placed either side of this axis, the classrooms are able to connect with these areas or be separated from them, providing an array of flexible learning configurations rather than a one size fits all open teaching space.
The form of the administration building is based around a core value of the school; to promote the wellbeing of its students. At the centre of this courtyard building, a sensory garden provides a calming outdoor retreat, connected to a wellbeing centre and discreetly observed from surrounding staff and administration spaces.
- Full Services
Project Director: Simon Whibley
Project Team: Simone Koch, Jessica Darmali, Jaime Fuenzailda, Ehsan Koshnami
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