Diamond Valley College
Combining new teaching and collaboration spaces to complement existing teaching spaces to form a contemporary STEM teaching facility.
This project sits within the bushland campus of Diamond Valley College, just below the crest of a hill on Main Hurstbridge Road. It adjoins the existing technology building, a robust remnant from the school’s past life as an outer suburban tech school. Growing out of a whole of campus masterplan, this first stage includes science, engineering and mathematics teaching spaces along with a central collaboration space. This forms a contemporary STEAM teaching facility in complement to the existing technology and (future) arts spaces within the original building.
The school’s priorities were the replacement of ageing teaching spaces whilst increasing the presence of contemporary facilities on the main road, so as to hold their own against competing schools in the area.
A diagonal ramp and accompanying stair connect the new facility to the existing campus whilst negotiating the steep, densely replanted embankment. These pathways arrive at the central building entry with a skylit locker area and cruciform circulation space. This feeds into the new facilities to the south and existing facilities to the north along with new amenities behind the locker bays on the north.
The design underpinnings of the project are built around three strategies:
The first was to connect a symmetrical, axially aligned building to the existing circulation spine of the technology building, akin to the axial relationship between the – intrinsically related yet distinctly different – lunar landing module and command module of the iconic Apollo space program. This facilitated the central cruciform entry/circulation space and shared work area, as well as the opportunity for a visually distinctive marker on the main road.
The second was the overlapping and extruded diamond geometry, an obvious reference to the name of the school and suburb, derived from the clear sparkling waters of the diamond creek. This facilitated the distinctive south façade, the sculpting of internal spaces, solar control to east and west, ceiling volume to accommodate mechanical ventilation and the shedding of water to mandated eaves gutters.
The third was the evocative colour palette of the surrounding bushland setting. The campus is populated by redbox, yellow box and ironbark eucalypts, all of which reflect in the building and are in turn reflected in the colour palette of the building itself. The dark glazed brick base, the pale green floors, the colour array of student lockers and the ironbark sap window glass over doors, are set against naturally light and reflective materials which capture the delicate colours and shadows of the surrounding landscape.
Profiled steel cladding and open jointed cement sheeting were installed as rain screen systems to allow a fully waterproof but precisely detailed outcome. Elsewhere, an economical cement sheet cladding system is used with flat Zincalume plate (and in places aluminium plate) face fixed as if a rigid metallic paint finish. A mechanical ventilation system with integrated CO2 sensors, science lab fume cupboards, split system heating/cooling and CCTV security systems complement the abundance of technical requirements typical of a project of this nature.
- Full Services
Project Director: James Staughton
Project Team: Simone Koch, Yash Ravi, Chenzi Yu
Photographer: John Gollings
Diamond Creek, Victoria
Stawell Secondary College
Celebrating the original heritage building on the campus whilst acknowledging an awakening awareness of local indigenous culture.
Burrinja Cultural Centre
Drawing out Burrinja Cultural Centre’s diverse and socially connected qualities, visual arts activities are bound together and brought to the foreground of a visitor’s experience.
Spensley Street Primary School
A small project of significant impact, existing library, service and outdoor spaces were transformed into a dynamic learning facility for STEM and Art.
Melton West Primary School
Reinventing the existing primary school in response to contemporary needs in a growing area with great ethnic diversity and significant social disadvantage.
Mernda Ambulance Station
A small but important piece of public infrastructure, making its presence felt within the evolving commercial precinct of Mernda.
Myrtleford Jubilee Park
Ties together existing and new elements within Myrtleford’s Jubilee Park creating axis and intersections that drive the geometry of new structures.
Sorrento Visitor Centre
A combination of urban design, sculpture and architecture creating new spaces for the public life of Sorrento.
Pomonal Community Hall
Expressing a moment of change in the town of Pomonal – from the memory of the existing hall to a contemporary place for the community.
Mount Macedon Primary School
Wrapping indoor and outdoor learning spaces around an existing art and music room, a tight budget is cleverly used to provide a new STEAM facility.