Harvester Technical College WATTC
Patrick Architects Pty Ltd
76 Suffolk road Sunshine North Victoria 3020 Australia
Carpenter, Metal Machinist and Bricklayer workshops are in a new building adjacent to Harvester Technical College.
They are clustered around a central Shared Project Space that encourages the integration of the trades. This opens onto a large covered outdoor work area.
Hairdressing is a standalone building on the street to exploit its commercial potential.
As a result of good management and good planning, Harvester Technical College has undergone a renaissance and is now a vibrant, active and well attended Trade Skills Centre.
Sunshine College had a vision to:
“Establish a modern facility as a training centre of choice for students seeking to establish pathways to trade courses during their secondary school years “.
The design process was thorough and required numerous meetings with the College. Visits were made to leading tertiary institutions and TAFE colleges offering higher certificates in these trades, to better understand the issues and problems encountered running similar programs.
The new centre has a commanding visual presence yet integrates with the existing building to signify that Harvester Technical College is a Trade Skills Centre (TSC) of excellence. It is presented as a modern, skilful and well detailed building to learn trades. In appearance, spaces, equipment and staff, it competes very well with the many modern opportunities offered at TAFE courses and by private providers. It is a competitive market.
The TSC is a combination of trade dedicated workshops and flexible shared open spaces where a full size house component can be easily constructed. The idea is to simulate a building site and to enable students to appreciate the integration of trades and gain an insight into the “team ” approach to building construction. It allows students to experience several disciplines and provides the opportunity for students to make more informed course choices, or to change courses, or consider additional courses.
The design also offers a high level of transparency which extends from the foyer through to each of the workshop activities as well as the CNC room with its high end 3D modelling capability.
All workshops are provided with ancillary stores and lockable tool stores as well as fully equipped Prep workshops.
Harvester Technical College has become unique in the way that the centre is set up and the way it is managed by its campus principal.
It looks and feels like a TAFE facility rather than an addition to a secondary college.
Perhaps success can be measured by the skill levels of students when they leave the centre, which are very high. Perhaps success can also be measured by the current student waiting list which is a testimony to the reputation; to the quality of teaching; and the quality of the environment now offered at Harvester Technical College.
The new revitalised Harvester Technical College is a success.