2023 A4LE Project Awards Winner “Transformation” Category 🌟 Y2 Architecture
19 Oct 2023
Congratulations to Y2 Architecture
Winner of the 2023 A4LE Transformation Awards
🏆 Hooray for the A4LE Transformation Category Winner! 🏆
We are excited to extend our heartfelt congratulations to the incredible Y2 Architecture team behind the White Hills Primary School project, spearheaded by the Victorian School Building Authority in Bendigo, Victoria 🌟
Their remarkable achievement at the Association for Learning Environments (A4LE) Awards is a testament to their unwavering commitment to transforming educational spaces and experiences.
The White Hills Primary School project stands out as a shining example of how innovation can redefine learning environments. Through meticulous planning, visionary design, and a deep understanding of educational needs, this project has truly reshaped the landscape of education.
This recognition in the Transformation category is well-deserved, as it showcases how the White Hills Primary School project has not only improved the physical spaces but has also had a profound impact on the entire educational community.
We commend the Victorian School Building Authority and their dedicated team for their outstanding work in revolutionizing the educational landscape and helping students thrive in a dynamic, engaging environment.
Your commitment to excellence inspires us all to envision a brighter future for education.
The White Hills Primary School refurbishment represents the first stage of modernising the school. It has transformed the school’s physical environment into a connected series of spaces and supports its transitioning curriculum delivery by creating learning Neighbourhood clusters. Early on, the school identified a disconnect between the approach to learning across its facilities. The school’s newer spaces provided vastly different opportunities to the other traditional classrooms (in the main building and portables).
This difference confused educators and learners as they transitioned between settings. The school desired a consistent approach to learning across its year levels. The school’s main building was built in the mid-1980s and was ahead of its time. However, it formed a messy set of individual teaching and administration spaces. It had a lot of internal circulation that was uninviting and hard to navigate and created isolation between learning areas that restricted movement. The building has a large, deep footprint that isolated occupants from the outside world.
The refurbishment opened up the facility and improved connections with two internal courtyards (Sun Labs) to transform the building’s character. The outcome is engaging flexible pedagogical environments that support a student-centred personalised approach to teaching and learning. The Sun Labs are adjacent to Learning Neighborhoods and are designed to make it easy for day-to-day learning to move outdoors. Additionally, they provide immediate access to specialist learning and administration spaces, ensuring continual access to outdoor learning environments throughout the building.
The School’s Learning Neighbourhoods provide flexible spaces that enable student movement and agency over learning. Each neighbourhood contains learning studios, calming small break-out spaces, presentation areas, and collaborative maker spaces with additional support through withdrawal and intervention spaces for students.
The school wished to enable broader school community events, with a multipurpose area for regular Parents and Friends group members to meet and work. This space also caters to smaller and mid-sized functions, including the growing Karen (English as Additional Language) population, to promote the value of education in their community and support them.
The refurbishment project has created a welcoming atmosphere that fosters engagement with all parents in the learning program through improved wayfinding and widespread display of student work