Ivanhoe East Primary School Library
Ivanhoe East Primary School in Victoria has grown to become a highly respected public school with high demand for student places. The concept for an expanded and updated library resource centre and classroom building grew out of the need to replace existing demountable classrooms with more permanent and cohesive facilities.
Chester & Chester Pty Ltd Architects
35 Warncliffe Road, East Ivanhoe, VIC 3078
Ivanhoe East Primary School in Victoria has grown to become a highly respected public school with high demand for student places. The concept for an expanded and updated library resource centre and classroom building grew out of the need to replace existing demountable classrooms with more permanent and cohesive facilities. The project attracted Commonwealth Building Education Revolution (BER) funding. Following their success with the SPACE Centre, Chester and Chester Architects were appointed to design the project. Following a rigorous consultation process the concept for a learning space that would provide access for students to current ICT tools within an environment that fostered a sense of community was developed. Delivering these aspirations within a constrained floorplate was a key challenge for the design team. The decision to make the building double storey was necessary to achieve the required program whilst preserving playground space. The library resource centre (LRC), located on the ground floor, is planned cleverly in a “bone” shape capable of accommodating two classes of students simultaneously without visual or audio disturbance. The first floor classrooms were planned in line with the Reggio Emilia approach which aims to integrate each classroom with the rest of the school, and the school with the surrounding community. The planning of a large central “piazza” or breakout space flanked by a series of 6 classrooms achieved this. These classrooms can either be acoustically separated or visually and physically interconnected as required. The building follows the architectural language of the preceding SPACE Centre and like that building, it also frames the internal courtyard space and integrates with new landscaping features, providing outdoor learning spaces directly connected to the ground floor. The building includes extensive energy and resource efficient features such as good thermal mass, operable clerestory windows and rainwater harvesting that make the building pleasant to inhabit and cost effective to run and maintain. This new building has not only provided an attractive and effective 21st century learning environment, it has completed and unified the campus, freeing the internal courtyard and providing visual and physical connectivity.