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PLACES FOR LEARNING. INNOVATIVE LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS


UNDERSTANDING LEARNING. Contemporary culture demands a spatial organisation of educational spaces that no longer follows a singular ‘industrial’ mode of transcation but caters for evolving pedagogies supporting collaboration. Technology has transformed society and the ways in which we communicate. Many devices, such as smart phones and tablets have been integrated seamlessly into our community, creating a new learning environment that ‘just is’. This culture demands a different spatial organisation for educational buildings to remain relevant and cater for evolving pedagogy and technology. ‘2025: The Learning Continuum’ examines the spatial theories and design ideas for new schools and school buildings. Although the theory remains the same, the design solutions for existing school buildings tend to vary greatly. More than 1400 NSW DET School buildings are heritage listed and have existed for approximately 40

years on average. Department guidelines recommend classrooms that range in size from 60-64m2, a size that limits optimal flexibility and which many non-government schools have also adopted. These dated historical standards prescribe only once concept of teaching and learning, limiting any necessary change in learning culture. This document explores the ways in which a 21st century learning environment can be designed within a 20th century shell, encouraging new modes of learning and engaging every student whilst increasing the longevity of existing buildings.

QUEENWOOD SCHOOL FOR GIRLS, MOSMAN

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QUEENWOOD SCHOOL FOR GIRLS, MOSMAN


TRINITY GRAMMAR SCHOOL, SUMMER HILL

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STAGES OF LEARNING. PRESCHOOL TO YEAR 3

MIDDLE YEARS 7 TO YEAR 9

The early stage of learning includes quality preschool or early learning programs that promote life learning outcomes and creates a solid basis for future learning. Skills acquired in the early learning stage include negotiation, self-control and cooperation and children develop understandings of size, shape, numbers and letters as well as gaining a sense of their body in space. At this specific stage, stable relationships are a key part of effective learning and children are still highly influenced by their family, but start to gain influence from other significant adults and peers around them. During the early learning stage, children effectively learn through supportive and challenging play and experience including using their senses.

The Middle Years embody a transition into adolescence. At this stage of learning, students are assessed on reading, writing and numeracy through system-wide tests and there is an increasing emphasis on extra-curricular and community-based activities. During this time, students form, articulate and manage relationships and develop stronger links with their peers, greater independence and a stronger sense of belonging in wider adolescent cultures. Students are able to reflect on who they are as a person, where they belong, what their values are and the direction in life they are taking. They begin to develop their own voice and sense of social justice and start to challenge the voices of significant adults, including parents and teachers.

PRIMARY YEARS 4 TO YEAR 6

SENIOR YEARS 10 TO YEAR 12

As children transition from the early years to the primary years, there is increasing emphasis on reading, writing and numeracy with integration of group activities with peers. During the Primary Years, children begin to experiment with identity, experiencing various kinds of friendships and comparing themselves with their peers. They begin to feel responsibility for their learning and behaviour and develop problem solving and decision-making skills. At this stage, children have a high level of energy and enthusiasm, enjoying movement and noise in class and play spaces. Children begin to demonstrate an emerging awareness of values and begin to expand their thinking in reflective and spontaneous ways.

The transition from the Middle Years to the Senior Years emphasise a more mature learning approach as students build on previous stages to develop employment or university-ready qualities equipping them to take advantage of a number of pathways.

TERTIARY EDUCATION Higher Education combines research, practical application (in the form of internships or work experience), professional skills and individual passion. Students utilise what they have learnt throughout secondary school and apply it to their studies in Higher Education, whether it be at university, college, TAFE or an Institute of Technology. During this Stage of Learning, students are encouraged to take responsibility for their education by developing a personal study rigour and making decisions regarding their career path.

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THE INFANTS HOME E A RLY L E A RNING

The Infants Home is one of Sydney’s oldest charities providing services to over 1,200 children through an integrated child and family service hub. It specialises in supporting young children up to 6 years and their families, providing integrated childcare, education, counselling, child and maternal health, medical and allied health programs, early intervention and outreach services. NBRS were commissioned by The Infants Home to redevelop their existing site at Ashfield, providing a new purpose-built long day care facility for 230 children and refurbishment of heritage listed buildings on the site. The concept for the new childcare centre is a group of pavilions dispersed amongst a garden setting, recreating a

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friendly home environment for the child care facility that is harmonious with the adjacent heritage buildings. The design groups three licensed areas around a central administration and support area, limiting the distance between the main areas of the facility and provides maximum surveillance of people moving around the site. The buildings have been designed around major trees and clusters to enhance the new child care environment and utilise existing shade. The pivotal node is centred around a large camphor laurel tree, creating a meeting space that is central for visitors to the licenced areas, offering an area for parents to sit and meet amongst the pavilions and landscaped grounds.


The brief called for a compact solution to streamline their services and maximise child protection and supervision whilst providing a friendly, safe environment for children, families and staff with maximum efficiency. 7


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PENRITH ANGLICAN COLLEGE E A RLY L E A RNING

Penrith Anglican College’s new administration building presents a smart, identifiable entrance to the school for visitors, while still maintaining a similar design style that relates to the existing buildings on the site. With its central location, connecting the prep, junior and senior precincts of the college, the building provides a range of easily accessible facilities that cater to both students and staff. This includes an open, welcoming main reception area, meeting rooms, staff and student administration facilities and a shared staff lounge area that can accommodate all staff at any given time.

The facility also contains flexible Early Learning spaces that have been designed in conjunction with the adjacent landscaped play areas, to house the school’s new PreKindergarten Program. By combining the staff and student administration facilities within this new, central and recognisable building within the College, interaction between students of different age groups and between staff are all encouraged and supported.

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TRINITY GRAMMAR JUNIOR SCHOOL JUNIOR L E A RNING

“These delightful new facilities are not only exciting and appealing aesthetically: they facilitate a dynamic and flexible approach to teaching and learning, which both engages and inspires inquiry, the search for understanding and the acquisition and application of knowledge in the context of the ever-changing world of today and beyond.” Milton Cujes – Head Master. 3rd October 2012

combination of steel and concrete, in combination with the bold, playful use of colour. The project consisted of a two-level building containing a variety of General Purpose Learning areas, Teachers Pods, Resource Centre, Art Centre and General Administration along with an outdoor deck learning area.

NBRS, in collaboration with the SchooI Council, the Junior School foundational families, the boys, and the staff, translated the vision of a new Junior School into reality. The design emphasised the modern

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BARKER COLLEGE SE NIOR L E A RNING

NBRS was commissioned by Barker College to repurpose two 1970’s classrooms to be a state-of-the-art learning environment: The Imaginarium. Many schools have the infrastructure of a solid building, but desire to create a new spatial response for student-centred learning. The Imaginarium took shape after the demolition of heavy internal walls, opening up a large learning space that is able to accommodate up to 50 students. In order to maximise the natural light and ventilation within the classroom, external walls were replaced with glass, creating a sense of transparency and seamless flow between indoor/outdoor spaces. Agile technology was seamlessly added through the addition of cameras, microphones, speakers, and touch

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screens. The quality of the environment was improved through acoustic treatment to walls and ceilings and reconfigurable furniture was added to bring the space alive. The variousshaped furniture pieces allow students to arrange them according to specific activities such as group work, presentations or working on projects.The students say the stackable terrace boxes are their favourite. Barker has called the new resource a “sandpit for future learning”. The end result is a space that supports the principal’s vision to create a third teacher through the role of an improved physical environment. The design supportsthe NBRS Research “2025 The Learning Continuum Adaptive” and is a real example of how new life can be brought to aging school infrastructure.

The Imaginarium has set new heights in terms of flexible learning environments for students and teachers to experiment, explore and grow.


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DANEBANK LIBRARY SE NIOR L E A RNING Danebank is a Private School for girls located in Hurstville, NSW. The school engaged with NBRSARCHITECTURE’s Interiors Studio to upgrade their Library facilities. The design concept was to create something fresh, new and innovative for the students, as space hadn’t been renovated since the mid 1990’s and had become tired. Another central aim was to increase seating capacity from 80 to 150 students, with 3 different class zones: A junior zone, a middle school zone and a Senior zone upstairs. This project was very successful and the client was ecstatic with the outcome. The space was transformed into a fresh & funky research space for the students. The design concept and new layout maximized the space with soft seating, bean bags, study nooks, ipad & laptop zones and breakout class spaces. The project had a tight construction allowance of just 3 weeks due to school holidays. Tower projects and NBRSARCHITECTURE met this short time frame and delivered the client a new library on completion date.

The design concept was to create something fresh, new and innovative for the students.

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MUSE BASSLINE MACQUARIE UNIVERSITY T E RT I A RY L E A RNING

Macquarie University commisioned NBRS to convert a section of the old library into student commons. The space is titled MUSE: Macquarie University Student Experience and includes collaborative student study areas with both formal academic and social spaces. Located on the ground floor, the social areas extend beyond the interior to a large deck which flows out to a central courtyard. Informed by extensive student consultation, NBRS embraced a design philosophy emphasising the importance of connection and choice. To create a space ideal for the students, the students must be able

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to choose. Imposing a prescriptive space, no matter how expensive or cutting edge in design, will not yield the best results for collaborative interaction. Offering adaptability and choice allows a sense of ownership over the space. The focus is to provide a space in which students have control over their environment, making it a fun space to be in. The layering of spaces includes Private Secure Spaces, Time for Two, Project Time, Flexible Team Spaces, Come Together & Down Time/Unwind spaces.


The space is also designed to allow instant connection – to wifi, to the university, between students and to the outside world. The space is not only fun, but efficient A place to get things done. 17


INTERNATIONAL SCREEN ACADEMY, WATERLOO

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LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS. Opportunities for students to explore and interact with their peers and the world around them. While a substantial amount of learning occurs within the classroom, environments outside of the classroom provide opportunities for extended learning. These environments include auditoriums, performing arts centres, sports facilities, aquatic facilities and outdoor learning environments. Auditoriums and performing arts centres help students express and share creativity through music, drama, dance and other creative outlets. Sporting and aquatic facilities provide students an outlet for their energy and offer

stimulating and challenging environments for them to excel. These facilities allow students to harness interests and passions through sports like swimming, netball and basketball. Outdoor environments encourage spontaneous, voluntary and joyful learning opportunities for children to explore and interact with their peers and the world around them. Play spaces, vegetable gardens and outdoor sports courts are outdoor learning activities that promote team work and hands on experiences.

ORAN PARK PUBLIC SCHOOL, ORAN PARK

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AUDITORIUM AND PERFORMING ARTS PROV IDING INSPIRING SPACES FOR C OMMUNIC AT ION A ND C ONNEC T ION

PLC AQUATIC & PERFORMING ARTS CENTRE, CROYDON

INTERNATIONAL SCREEN ACADEMY, WATERLOO

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NBRS approaches the design and execution of performance spaces with a combination of expertise from within the firm, as well as engaging in close partnership with specialist consultants, to collaborate with the client and stakeholders in order to form a comprehensive brief for the project. Our approach involves researching fundamental aspects of performance space design. These entail; the mix of spaces, types of instruments played, the types of performances, technology, any flexibility needed between spaces, the aesthetic outcome, the siting of the building in its context, external influences and general feel and flow of the building the client intends to achieve.

The brief sometimes requires accommodating different types of performance related spaces into the one building, these being a mix of musical performance spaces, theatrical performance spaces, musical and vocal practice spaces, technical and recording laboratories, dance and drama spaces, back of house support spaces and associated public spaces.


INTERNATIONAL SCREEN ACADEMY, WATERLOO

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SCOTS SCHOOL SPORTS FACILITY, ALBURY

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SPORTS AND AQUATIC FACILITIES E NC OUR AGING OPP ORT UNI T IES FOR PH YSIC A L AC T I V I T IES A ND T E A M SP ORTS

QUEENWOOD SPORTS CENTRE, MOSMAN

QUEENWOOD SPORTS CENTRE, MOSMAN

NBRSARCHITECTURE have a proven track record in the delivery of finished, constructed aquatic precincts. We aim to exceed the expectations described in the briefing documentation. Together with our sub consultants, our team is a leader in the design, engineering and delivery of significant international aquatic, sporting and entertainment facilities offering experience in the delivery of innovative facilities including the Ruth Everuss Aquatic Centre, Brisbane River Pool in Queensland, Sydney Gymnastic & Aquatic Centre and the Multipurpose Queenwood Aquatic Centre in Balmoral NSW.

NBRSARCHITECTURE’s experience with aquatic centre adaptive reuse and redevelopment projects includes the upgrading of aesthetics and functional aspects of many aquatic and sports facilities. NBRS has completed a range of complex urban infill aquatic centres in sensitive heritage affected precincts including Queenwood School Aquatic Centre in Mosman and PLC Sydney’s Aquatic Centre within their heritage listed campus.

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OUTDOOR LEARNING L A ND S C A PES FOR E X PE RIME N TAT ION, T E A M WORK A ND PL AY

ORAN PARK PUBLIC SCHOOL, ORAN PARK

We strive to create play environments that encourage outdoor learning to occur in spontaneous, voluntary & joyful ways. Well-designed play spaces can offer safe opportunities for experimentation and challenge that teach children how to extend beyond their perceived limits through hands on experience.

ORAN PARK PUBLIC SCHOOL, ORAN PARK

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Learning is a crucial element of a child’s development and can be incorporated into play. Play spaces that encourage exploration and experimentation extend a child’s interaction with the world around them, facilitating immersive learning. Elements within a play space can provide

various opportunities for learning, including water elements and vegetable gardens. Active play can be integrated both through designed play elements as well as more free form spaces, allowing the children to use their imagination and play how they want. It is important to provide different opportunities and experiences which are both flexible in use and provide varied opportunities for activity.


ORAN PARK PUBLIC SCHOOL, ORAN PARK

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STRATEGIC MASTER PLANNING M A XIMISING T HE SI T E ’S P OT E NI A L T HROUGH REINFORCING RE L AT IONSHIP S

WHAT IS A MASTER PLAN? An NBRS Master Plan provides an appropriate and considered physical planning framework or blue-print to guide the future development of a school campus. It confirms the core academic facilities footprint by identifying learning zones and student precincts while taking into account building form, density and style. The Master Plan establishes development envelopes for the location of new buildings and provides a sequencing development over the short, medium and long term periods. One of the key features of an NBRS Master Plan is that it identifies opportunities for the integration of new learning environments and open space networks that provide active and passive recreation for students, an integral part of school development. Additionally, each Master Plan offers high level transport and traffic strategies as well as identifying and responding to heritage conservation areas and buildings.

A MASTER PLAN SHOULD: A Master Plan is useful for a number of purposes. First and foremost, the Master Plan should serve and align with the Strategic Plan or Vision Statement of the school. It should act as a guidance document for highlighting campus potential and facilities management. A Master Plan should be goal orientated, creative, visionary, conceptual, multi-dimensional, relevant, user-friendly and subject to review.

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INNOVATIVE LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS M A XIMISING T HE SI T E ’S P OT E NI A L T HROUGH REINFORCING RE L AT IONSHIP S

MODULAR DESIGN

RESEARCH

MODUPOD is a dynamic 21st century learning environment that creates an inspiring implicit curriculum, the 3D text book - spatial forms that promotes interaction and critical thinking for 21st century students. Fast assembly, smart stimulating interiors and flexible PODS place students and teachers at the heart of learning. MODUPOD embodies a new approach to learning; ‘The Learning Continuum’ which responds to the plastic possibilities of environments which are fluid and transcendental in nature. The new physical components form to blend a seamless integrated environment which maximises the learning experience.

In order to ensure the relevance of the spaces, NBRSARCHITECTURE conducts research into current and projected trends in the way people live and interact with the built environment. We also share our research and experience by hosting & speaking at conferences. NBRS has created a publication devoted to understanding 21st Century learning environments called the ‘Learning Continuum’.

MODUPOD Dynamic multi-modal clusters are built around an Active Core; a permeable student resource centre which supports unique pedagogical solutions by incorporating five standard learning modes. The Studio, Project, Breakout and Social PODS and the Outdoor Spaces support the modes of teaching and learning and are specified to meet the a spectrum of curriculum needs, site topographies and climatic conditions.

21st Century learning environments must have the ability to initiate a LEARNING CONTINUUM by moving away from traditional ëone-stop shopsí for education and towards a universal culture of nurturing continual learning. A new Science Centre will create dynamic learning environments; instructive forums, social spaces and community environments. This environment is enhanced by the use of technology, which encourages a culture of acquiring knowledge everywhere, an essential shift towards a more open and progressive approach to learning.

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Sydney: +61 2 9922 2344 Melbourne: +612 39922 86762344 0427 Sydney: +61 nbrsarchitecture.com Melbourne: +61 3 8676 0427 nbrsarchitecture.com

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Places for Learning  

NBRSARCHITECTURE strives to create and encouraging new modes of learning and engaging every student.

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