Nathalia Secondary College: Trade Training Centre
The project commenced by taking a step back – with a Masterplan analysis of the whole college and its goals. The result? Two TTC facilities that enhance the school’s presentation on two frontages, an integrated Trade Training program that spreads benefits across year levels, and proud staff, students and community.
Winner Renovation/Modernisation Under $1 million
41 Chapel Street Nathalia, Vic 3638 Australia
Commencing the design process with a Masterplan allowed NOWarchitecture to identify additional opportunities for the College. Separating the hairdressing and carpentry facilities acknowledged the different pedagogical, technical and physical needs of the two studies, while integrating the facilities into the existing buildings reinforced teaching and learning connections throughout the College.
The Carpentry facilities are linked to the upgraded metalwork area, which responds to the College’s desire that the project funding make improvements across the technology curriculum. The Carpentry workshops are highly visually permeable with effective acoustic insulation. Strong visual and aural connections are essential for safety and comfort.
The staff office is a central observatory. The Carpentry coordinator notes that students have a sense of “ownership” over the space, that “comfort levels far exceed the previous arrangement…and the local tradespeople are very impressed.”
On the north facade, shaded glazed tilt-doors provide excellent levels of natural light. When open, the workspace grows outdoors and large projects can be relocated.
The large span LVL timber structure creates an open and adaptable workshop, and puts timber on display. Timber is a renewable, carbon capturing resource, with only 28% the embodied energy of steel. It feels, “modern, but nurturing” and that students are “…proud of the new facility”.
The Hairdressing facility opens to the public during the program to give students real-world application of their developing skills, so a street front location was essential. The Salon forms part of a refreshed College entry which also improves way-finding to central administration.
Budget restrictions meant theory and practice had to be provided in a single space. To achieve this, NOWarchitecture developed a unique salon bench. When closed it is a seminar desk; opening the lid reveals a double salon station with mirror, ledge and magazine shelf.
The instructors have noted that with no defined front or back to the learning area students genuinely sit together, are more focussed and more accountable. With theory and practical work scheduled in every class, the single spaces saves a lot of teaching and learning time that would otherwise be wasted moving between rooms.