Marian College Design Warehouse
The Design Warehouse is a facility designed to accommodate collaborative teaching and learning. The philosophy of learning at Marian College centres on personalised learning for every student.
Building on passions and capabilities, fostering engagement and developing talents, students can choose how and where they work in this flexible learning environment.
Winner Category 3 Renovation / Modernisation Over $2m
196 Glengala Road Sunshine West, Vic 3020 Australia
The Design Educators at Marian College envisaged a new facility that would provide collaborative, flexible, connected, multi-functioning spaces. The linear, cellular configuration of the spaces that they were working within limited the creative processes and did not allow for design activity to cross pollinate.
The new Design Warehouse invites students to share the central multi-materials gallery space, to collaborate and explore a variety of design activity. Supported by wet and dry design spaces, some with equipment specific to traditional technology and design practice, students are now able to learn in a connected and collaborative environment.
The former Design Technology space has been partly demolished and re-purposed to create a new Food Technology facility, Dining Space, Canteen and Edible Garden.
The Food Technology Space & Dining Area provide students with a teaching kitchen in addition to the school’s Hospitality Trade Training Centre. The adjacent canteen and Food Technology spaces open onto the new Edible Garden, which has provided the school a new passive outdoor hub.
Careful planning and building siting have reduced the building footprint on a tight site, creating more open space and better use of internal areas. The project was delivered within the project budget and has provided the school with the spaces that they imagined.
A traditional Design Technology building, with its cellular structure accommodating separate functions such as wood, metal, clay etc were not conducive to the Marian College’s commitment to their collaborative teaching and learning ideals. This, along with consideration of future directions in design-based curriculum, resulted in a non-traditional approach.
In place of separate rooms for each of Fabrics, Visual Communications and Photography, a multi-materials ‘Clean’ studio was created. In place of Wood, Metal, Clay and Art, a multi-materials ‘Dirty’ studio was created.
Physical and visual connection between spaces, an important contributor to the sharing of ideas, is fundamental in this design, aided by the creation of the central gallery space to showcase students’ work, to host the annual Design and Technology Exhibition and Community Arts Projects.
Minx Architecture use of colour has been strategically applied while an abundance of natural light fills the building from windows, highlights and translucent wall cladding.
The design of this facility along with a re-purposed canteen/food technology building and the creation of an edible garden providing students with a large passive recreation and eating area have brilliantly meshed together previously separate disciplines.
The Jury was particularly impressed with the architects’ observations of student use of spaces during the early concept stage and their extended consultation process including numerous workshops with students, design staff, the senior planning group, providing many examples of using feedback received from their workshops to inform the brief.
Understanding, unpicking and re-imangining the brief, was the key to developing this very successful Design Warehouse at Marian College – a worthy winner. Congratulations to Minx Architecture and Marian College.