FRANKSTON HEIGHTS PRIMARY SCHOOL LEARNING NEIGHBOURHOOD
The Intermediate Homestead Building was part of a larger school masterplan which involved partial demolition, partial renovation and new construction. The older school was transformed by creating a central activity plaza with buildings placed around it in the spirit of a village.
This school had already embarked on a journey to create an environment for 21st century learning. They had themselves funded the previous renovation of the Junior Homestead and then the BER building provided a Senior Homestead. It was thus paramount that full continuity be achieved across all year levels with the new Intermediate Homestead.
The older school was transformed by creating a central activity plaza with buildings placed around it in the spirit of a village. This is a great activity space for the students and a raised timber platform with coloured ‘wings’ encourages play/performance activity/ participation. Parents now wait for children after school in the one area rather than in a series of smaller isolated groups. The whole emphasis is on integrating the community and visual connection across most of the school is possible with the new arrangement.
Before the steel was erected the builder went into receivership. Centrum Architects led the team to quickly assess the current status, take appropriate steps and appoint another builder whilst ensuring the project was still completed on time and on budget.
Principal Simon Anderson said “The effect of the new building in terms of energy sustainability and comfort for students and staff exceeded expectations. The building is bright and stimulation through the creative use of colour. The flexibility of the learning spaces with its infinite possibilities of use continues to be a talking point within our school community, but also b y other professionals visiting our school.”
Key elements for ESD principles include:
Passive Solar Design
Natural cross ventilation and expelling hottest air through highlight louvres
Efficient envelope and glazing
Rainwater havesting for toilet flushing
Lighting control and Natural light
PUBLICATIONS, MEDIA + AWARDS
"This project, with a building cost of $1.3M has transformed Frankston Heights Primary School from three parallel lines of 'Light Timber Construction' buildings to a campus with a central activity plaza at its heart.
The design of the new 'homestead' building incorporates current thinking in learning spaces with a mix of settings interlinked to each other and to outdoor learning decks. The learning spaces have easy access to bathrooms, teacher collaboration spaces and storage.
"The before and after images are telling. Using a modest palette of materials, the designers have cleverly renewed this campus with a mix of new and old. A new stage helps define the central courtyard, link the new with the existing and provide a venue for performance.
"The process wasn't easy with the initial building company going into receivership mid-project. The school principal commends Centrum Architects for their professional management of this situation. The principal also comments that he is observing a noticeable cultural swing with parents utilising new areas before and after school.
This was one of few schemes which highlighted the inclusion of student interviews as the initial stimulus for understanding the learner needs as part of the brief resolution.