Victorian Schools Bundle, Inclusive Schools Hub
Billard Leece Partnership (BLP)
The new Supported Schools in Victoria provide additional learning spaces and well-being amenities for all students, by facilitating greater inclusion for children of all abilities within local public schools.
The Victorian Schools Bundle, Inclusive Schools Hub comprises four new schools, three of which consist of ‘all-inclusive hubs’, to better serve growing neighbourhoods and young students in Melbourne ‘s North West and South West regions.
The design provides a fully inclusive building model, adapting a previous template, to support children with varying degrees of cognitive and/or motor disabilities to attend mainstream learning environment. As a new ‘inclusion’ school model, there was much consultation with stakeholders to successfully respond to the design brief.
Integrating passive retreat zones within active spaces was implemented in every building typology and light colours to exterior roofing and wall cladding reflect harsh sunlight and aid natural cooling. High level windows and ceiling fans aid air circulation in both winter and summer and sunshades to external windows provide passive solar control. Directed by the principles of designing with nature, all windows are fully operational connecting outside and inside learning environments.
Contemporary learning spaces include large open gathering and teaching spaces and there are play spaces in between buildings.
Both active and quiet outdoor learning spaces are immediately adjacent to the learning buildings, with coloured finishes on the façades, reminding students of their homegroup. While bold colours, inspired by local birdlife, were used as a universal wayfinding tool. A sensory garden and outdoor retreat space in each of the supported inclusion hubs enables students to interact with their surrounds in a defined and safe space.
The design recognises the importance of the external and internal learning environments as integral in the development and growth of all students.
Furniture: Euromaid, Rinnai. Lighting: Astroled, Eagle: MaxLight, Thorn Lighting. Fittings & Fixtures: Caroma, Britex, Metlam, Enware, Clark: Billi, Aidacare.
Photography: Ian Ten Seldam