15km east of Melbourne, the Parkhill Primary School redevelopment involved the construction of a new art room, and two new learning community buildings linked by a large external covered deck. The project required the removal of existing dilapidated buildings replaced by two new learning communities. Each consists of 5 to 6 classrooms branching off a central collaborative spine. The classrooms have the flexibility to vary the degree of openness and engagement with the collaborative space depending on the programs being run.
The building geometry responds to the landscape, overlooking the tennis court and sports fields to the south, with the new deck and covered way flowing around significant trees that were retained at the site. A feature of the buildings is the deployment of large sliding doors and operable walls internally, and highlight glazing to create open learning areas bathed in natural light throughout the year. ACOR Consultants provided structural and civil engineering services to Baldasso Cortese for this project. The replacement buildings are light timber and steel-framed, clad with brick and Innowood, with interconnected teaching spaces, and surrounded by generous decks that respond to significant trees.
All internal learning spaces have access to outdoor space. These areas afford views to the south, connectivity to sporting facilities and extend the community gathering spaces into the landscape.