Gungahlin College, Library, CIT Learning Centre and Town Park
The Gungahlin College project is a mix of educational and community facilities in an integrated campus with a strong sustainability focus. It encourages a student-centred, interdisciplinary, collaborative approach to learning in a flexible, enriched learning environment featuring an innovative and seamless alignment of technology, pedagogy, and space provision.
Munns Sly Moore Architects & Williams Boag Architects Pty Ltd – Architects in Association – Munns Sly Williams Boag
Winner Category 1: New Educational Facility Construction/Entire Educational Facility
23 Gozzard Street, Gungahlin, ACT 2912
Munns Sly Moore Architects
Ben Wrigley – Photohub
The Gungahlin College project involved the construction of a mix of educational and community facilities in an integrated campus, including a secondary college to accommodate 900 year 11 and 12 students, a Learning Centre for the Canberra Institute of Technology, as well as a shared Library, and Town Park for the Gungahlin Community. The brief for the project was highly aspirational, requiring facilities that “would create a model for education in the ACT, and set a standard for modern quality education in Australia”. The project was inherently complex, and the design response evolved through extensive research and exploration, exhaustive consultation with a wide range of Government and Community stakeholders, methodical brief development, the contribution of specialist educational planners, and a rigorous Departmental review and approval process. The need to integrate schools into the community in a holistic approach to the provision of community functions is now accepted as a given around the world. The project responds to this architecturally by collocating the entries to the school and community facilities around a public forecourt and ‘heart space’ which have a strong physical and visual connection to the commercial town centre. Gungahlin College provides ‘new generation learning spaces’ for the 21st century. The project was developed in response to the paradigm shift taking place in education, in which pedagogy is moving away from the traditional classroom teaching model towards independent, self-directed learning in open plan, flexible learning environments. The briefing process culminated in the development of an educational specification and key assumptions paper which sought to explore this shift and define the fundamental planning requirements for the project so that there was an alignment between pedagogy and space provision. The project aims to achieve a 5-Star Greenstar rating (pending). ESD elements are a visible determinant of building form, announcing the green credentials of the project. The intention is to make the building form and fabric moderate the internal climate rather than reliance on mechanical systems. Thermal chimneys, internal atria, light shelves, and a thermal labyrinth are some of the strategies adopted to bring light and tempered air to the deep open plan learning environments.