neighbourhoods for learning
Box Hill North Primary School
Box Hill North Primary School is a beloved community school located in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne. Nestled within a dense residential pocket, Sibling Architecture initially completed a masterplan for the campus, followed by the recent completion of stage one of the project. This has given the school their new Junior Learning Hub and integrated kindergarten, while also delivering on the aspiration of a new street presence and address for the otherwise recessive campus.
The initial masterplan stage looked both inwards, and out. It aimed to further develop the school through integrating dedicated community facilities to welcome in the broader community, and to eventually become a place for all. The project was about siting new and existing school buildings within curated landscaped pockets to create an improved sense of arrival and street presence for the school, as well as fostering a better integration of year levels across the campus.
The bold white and orange stepped architecture of the Junior Learning Hub employs flexible learning spaces within and aims to create dedicated neighbourhoods for each junior learning cohort. With operable walls across paired classrooms and collaboration pockets between each neighbourhood, the new centre offers opportunities for shared learning, quiet spaces, and withdrawal, whilst always being cognizant of sightlines from surrounding internal neighbourhoods.
Enveloping the building, the material choices play off the key conceptual idea of bringing the familiarity of home into the school campus; for many young children, the school becomes a home away from home. Starting by investigating the local Box Hill vernacular, materials such as cream brick, light timber and the all-familiar corrugated metal found across many suburban homes were all incorporated into the Junior Learning Hub to create a welcoming association.
The landscape extends these ideas outwards, creating external learning zones similar to those inside. Two swooping entries are carved into the building, to create an inviting pocket at each end of the Junior Learning Hub. Looking to the colours found in native flora along the adjacent Koonung Koonung Creek, vibrant tones of orange, green and blue unfold throughout the spaces. Adopting this into the architecture of the Junior Learning Hub allowed for an exciting and meaningful connection back to the school’s surrounds.
The building's form considers the site context, with the building’s façade responding to the local forms of the surrounding neighbourhood.
The building plays off the key conceptual idea of bringing the familiarity of home into the school campus; for many young children, the school becomes a home away from home.
The bold white and orange stepped architecture of the Junior Learning Hub employs flexible learning spaces within and aims to create dedicated neighbourhoods for each junior learning cohort.