VIEWBANK PRIMARY SCHOOL
Back in 2008, Viewbank Primary School developed a grounds master plan – a thorough plan that would ensure all future school developments would be part of a well-thought-out, strategic blueprint. Fast-forward a decade, and Modscape has played a key role in bringing this vision to life through the replacement of a building as part of the Victorian School Building Authority’s asbestos removal program.
The new fit-for-purpose build includes eight classrooms, breakout common areas, shared withdrawal spaces, staff offices and amenities.
Following user group meetings with the school project control group, careful thought was given to the circulation and layout of rooms to complement staff working relationships and staff/student flow. In addition, a major focus on visual and physical connection between spaces has been incorporated in the design layout.
The design’s compact square arrangement embeds itself seamlessly into the existing school circulation and infrastructure. Meanwhile, its strategic placement creates a visual connection to the streetscape as well as between the administration building and the school gymnasium, and a physical connection between the northern and southern play courtyards, which were previously separated by the old classroom. This also allows previously underused areas to be integrated in the school circulation and play zones.
The gently curved façade of the classroom block is clad in a simple palette of pre-finished Colorbond cladding, tying the new build into the existing school fabric while requiring minimal maintenance. Large, operable windows and skylights result in ample daylight streaming into the building, while allowing for plenty of natural ventilation.
Within the building, each bank of four classrooms is connected via operable walls, hinged glazed doors and a common multi-function breakout area. These elements encourage flexibility in use of space and allow the school to host large numbers for special events and shared learning. Bag cubby joinery on wheels further enhances teaching flexibility and the adjustment of space to suit various methods of learning. Interactive and modern teaching methods are facilitated via incorporated projectors and portable devices.
Well-connected quiet withdrawal spaces and the teachers’ office are situated off the common breakout zone, encouraging small-group and one-on-one learning. Meanwhile, a covered external decked landing acts as a transition between outdoor and indoor flow at the main entry points.
Modscape worked closely with Viewbank’s staff and shareholders in order to create a school building that will perfectly reflect Viewbank’s vision and needs.
“Architecturally designed and constructed off-site, the building will be ready quicker with far less disruption than a traditional building,” says Bill Kersing, Principal at Viewbank Primary School.