Award-winning classroom designed for both fun and the tropics
The brief for the Essington School Computer Centre was to provide a facility specifically tailored to the school’s teaching methods and to supporting the use of information technology in the curriculum. Making use of the site and its natural attributes, the building was positioned to address the street and define a gateway between the main entry and drop off zone. Its position publically marks the schools move toward teaching in a techno-savvy era, an important part of the design brief. Furthermore, the centre's standalone location allows for after hours adult education, enhancing and providing greater connectivity between the school and local community.
Flexibility within the space was a critical component of the brief and the design responds by offering teaching spaces that can evolve to suit group work, traditional teaching or one on one teaching. The centre also includes four studio rooms suited to small group work, as well as specially designed studios for music and film editing. Embracing the main user group of early primary to middle school students, the buildings focal point is its playful structure, exciting design elements and bright colours.
Extensive internal glazing allows natural light to penetrate throughout the building, providing a welcoming learning environment that allows for casual monitoring of students and lessens the centres reliance on artificial lighting. Additionally, large roof overhangs shade wall surfaces during school hours and lightweight cladding materials ensure minimum heat storage, a design consideration that cannot be overlooked in the harsh North Australian climate.
The building was designed to be enjoyed by the students and provide a fun and stimulating learning environment. The student’s response to the building and desire to work within the centre is a testament to the design objective to move away from traditional notions of education design.