This project recently won an IESANZ SA/NT lighting Award of Excellence.
The judges stated: “It was evident from the street as soon as we arrived at the site that this was going to be something special. An excellent example of project coordination between all design partners – architect, interior designer, engineer, lighting designer and client. The integration of architecture and lighting is exceptional. The attention to detail by all involved (including the electrical contractor is first-rate. All involved in this project should be commended on an excellent result.”
Project Architects: Emily Chalk & Craig Buckberry, Russell & Yelland
Lighting Designers: Robert Bartosik & Anthony Davidson, Secon Consulting Engineers
In July 2016 the SA Government announced a stimulus package for the creation of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) facilities in 139 public schools across South Australia.
Construction of the Brompton Primary School STEM project commenced in December 2016 with a site visit from the Minister for Education and Child Development, the Hon. Susan Close. It will be one of the first of the STEM Works projects to be completed.
The design aims to encourage hands-on making and open-ended creative investigations.The robust finishes and open-plan workshop feel will show that the space is not ‘precious’ – it’s there to be used and it’s okay to make a mess!
The children will be the ‘star of the show’, with many locations for displaying and celebrating their work. Almost every surface will be interactive, including the ceiling, which is designed for hanging things from. Wall surfaces will used for display, storage, creation and collaboration, via a lego wall, pegboards, slat wall and whiteboards.
The four zones in the STEM space are denoted by different flooring, but are all interconnected, allowing multiple patterns of use. The dark room space is more formal, used for presentations, demonstrations, green-screen work and light experiments. The timber structure around the dark room is designed to with exposed connections to show how it was assembled.
The STEM space will connect to the courtyard and the veggie garden, as well as into the classrooms to the north. STEM will not be a ‘special’ activity but a normal part of the school day, easily accessible and highly visible.
To visualise this project in 3D, click on the image below to jump into a panoramic 3D representation. Each label will take you to a different view.
digital maker space
wet activity area
dry activity area
If you have a smartphone and want a more immersive experience you can equip yourself with a viewer such as the google cardboard and rotate your phone to have the views formatted in stereoscopic.
Is school design for STEM about encouraging chance encounters across subject areas?
The recent announcement by the SA Government of a $250m stimulus package to provide Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths (STEM) facilities for government schools has prompted the question: what does designing for STEM look like?
There are many articles noting how STEM skills are vital to the future of Australia; concerns about low numbers of science and mathematics graduates; and much talk about innovation. When it comes to design of spaces for STEM in schools, the principles seem to be the same as for most other disciplines: flexible, adaptable and interconnected environments which encourage a range of learning styles and cater for different group sizes and activities. We have seen the introduction of the Maker movement into schools, with laser cutters and 3D printers now common, and the rise of all things digital.
When planning the UniSA College Centre for Science and Maths at Mawson Lakes, we emphasized a range of table, seating and display possibilities with less emphasis on traditional lab experiments and more on space for 3D printers and scanners. The structure of the existing building only allowed us to create very small display windows facing circulation areas – but this became an advantage as it gives a museum-like prestige to the objects on display. The building fabric also tells a story – the recycled timber ceiling screen is a graph of global warming. Continue reading →