Lowanna College, located in the Latrobe Valley, was built in the early 1990s as an amalgamation of three Victorian State Schools. It is a modern school with good facilities throughout the campus style environment consisting of classrooms and generous landscaped spaces.

The client’s aim was to reinvigorate some of the spaces so that they portrayed a more contemporary look and feel as well as give the teachers and students greater flexibility and freedom to learn and explore ideas. Together, we decided not to change too much and instead simply used the allocated modest budget to bring a degree of freshness and newness to spaces that already existed.

We introduced a material and colour scheme that reflected a palette inspired by the local landscape and used circular geometric shapes to contrast the rectilinear spaces we sought to transform. We also carefully introduced large operable walls that could open the spaces for large groups, end of semester exams and trade based exhibitions or could be closed to create individual classroom spaces for teaching. Conceptually, we created a university style set of spaces that the year 12 students could see as something different to the rest of the school and so help to prepare their outlook towards the next stage of their life journey.

One of the reasons this project was so enjoyable for us is that the School Principal and leadership team had a clear vision for their school. It was rewarding to be able to take their vision to empower teachers and students and then design a set of spaces that will enable collaborative learning based on individual needs and expectations. Throughout the project we worked closely with the builder (DUCON Maintenance) and our client the Victorian School Building Authority to deliver on time and on budget.

Lowanna Secondary College

  • Year: 2018
  • Location: Newborough
  • Builder: DUCON Maintenance
  • Photos: Trevor Mein

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