A few years ago I was involved in a research program for young professionals facilitated by CEFPI (Council of Educational Facility Planners International) called the Mayfield Project. Our submission consisted of a number of case studies which explored the relationship between pedagogy and the built environment. I examined a recently completed open plan science lab building. The process had a huge influence on my professional development and the results changed the way I viewed educational design, they are summarised below:
A teachers classroom is like their home, it needs to be secure, provide privacy while being adaptable with good links to a range of spaces. Multi purpose or flexible spaces run the risk of becoming homeless. Openness and transparency can come at the expense of privacy and security. This Science Centre designed as open plan for accessibility attempts to find a middle ground.
Salisbury East High School’s popular dance curriculum has informed the design of a new Arts Facility to be constructed within the heart of the school.
Education in the Arts is pushing for creative, flexible spaces within schools to adapt to the fluid nature of teaching creative endeavours.
Together with key stakeholders we have rationalised the current building stock to make way for a Performing Arts building that embraces contemporary education in the Arts. John Held’s initial concept of wrapping the building upon itself to create a sheltered learning space has been interwoven by interiors that layer upon themselves to create drama and performance within the communal spaces.
From inception, the Galilee Catholic School was considered to be simply one part of the overall local community – a place for all, to learn, meet and chat, for creating and reinforcing links between different sectors of the community in the pursuit of life-long learning.
To achieve this, they have had to re-think schooling and innovate at many levels.
Innovation is defined as doing something different: introducing new things. The innovation at Galilee school since its inception has not been about the newest technology or slick buildings, but about deep thought about its role in the community and the underlying educational philosophy.
Since master planning for the school started in 2005 the design has tried to respond to that approach through its site layout and the planning of the units.