How might a building teach its users about sustainability?
A substantial part of the school building stock within Australia needs replacement or refurbishment. Embodied energy, environmental impacts, operating costs and life-cycle costs demand cost-effective decisions. Concurrently, education is changing from classrooms into learning environments and informational environments. If we do not bring environmental and educational imperatives together in innovative ways then embodied energy costs and government funds will be wasted on buildings that do not last. Schools cannot be green without being smart and can’t be smart without being green.
Central to this design studio are the ideas that architecture is not just about the building. Architecture can enhance the educational experience by providing spaces that reflect educational ideologies, but also teach through their expression.
The studio centered on Princess Hill Secondary College as its case study and worked to the brief that the school has outgrown its capacity due to the increased density in inner urban areas. The new precinct will need to accommodate visiting classes (physical and potentially virtual) and life-long-learning programs. Students developed their building brief to facilitate their ideas of educational requirements in the future.
Dominique Hes, Kirsty Fletcher