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Victorian School Building Authority

Mt Waverley Secondary College STEAM

Projects

The key to this building’s success is its breakout circulation zones. They are versatile and useful, and they create visual and physical connections between activities in all the learning spaces. They make the STEAM centre a vibrant contemporary hub, in contrast to a row of separate classrooms.

BKK has designed and delivered this new two-storey STEAM facility for Mount Waverly Secondary College. The building along with the new landscape works create an entrance point to the northern campus, strengthening the development of the modern campus.

Housing learning spaces for technology, visual communications, arts and science the U-shaped building wraps around a central courtyard, providing connections between multiple informal learning environments that connect progressively to the outdoor spaces. These can all be used simultaneously by students from multiple disciplines. The entire environment becomes a place for sharing, collaboration, watching and cross-pollination, all of which creates interest in learning from what others are doing.

 

Client
Victorian School Building Authority
Location
Mt Waverley, Victoria, Australia
Country
Wurundjeri Woi-Wurrung and Bunurong
Year
2024
Stakeholder engagement

We maintained a close relationship with the teaching heads of department throughout the project. As the main stakeholders, they advised us on what was most important. Storage and visual connections were close to their hearts, and there was ongoing discussion to ensure we understood the technical equipment – laser cutters, Bunsen burners, chemical store cabinets, routers, smart boards etc. We learned which items needed to be nearby or separated, which needed space around them, and which needed ventilation or exhausting. We determined adjacencies and positions based on this advice, and made each room work as hard as possible.

We designed the floor plans and spatial relationships based on detailed conversations with Mount Waverley teachers. We discussed which subjects and activities can share spaces and which needed to be adjacent or separate.

Technology

The Fab Lab is at the heart of the building, putting process and learning on display. Like all the learning spaces, the fab lab is wrapped in windows to maximise visual connection and supervision between spaces. It is equipped with 3d printers, laser cutters, soldering irons, drop saws and other high tech fabrication machinery. Services co-ordination has been carefully considered, allowing exhaust arms to be moved around to accommodate various equipment needs, whilst the bulk of the duct work is concealed behind the green hexagonal acoustic tiles.

Technology and fabrication spaces are located on the ground floor, with two flexible technology spaces, a tech computer lab, a visual communications room and a Fab Lab. Each space having the opportunity to connect either to its neighbour, to the collaboration corridor or to the outside. There is also a large multi-purpose display space on the ground floor designed for exhibiting student’s work and offering a single space where large groups of students, staff and the community can gather.

Connectivity

The U-shaped building wraps around a central courtyard, providing connections between multiple informal learning environments that connect progressively to the outdoor spaces. These can all be used simultaneously by students from multiple disciplines. The entire environment becomes a place for sharing, collaboration, watching and cross-pollination, all of which creates interest in learning from what others are doing.

For

Victorian School Building Authority

Sector

Educational

Status

Completed

Year

2020 – 2024

Location

Mt Waverley, Victoria, Australia

Country

Wurundjeri Woi-Wurrung and Bunurong

Photographer

Tom Roe