Dallas Brooks Community Primary School

Dallas Brooks Community Primary School

Concept

Despite facing real constraints in terms of budget, bureaucratic stagnancy, and community diversity, the Dallas Brooks Community Primary School is a facility that incorporates an Early Learning Centre, a major Gym Hall and performance area, a broadcast room, and industrial style community kitchen and gathering space, a food technology teaching area and an adult learning centre.

The school acts as a walled city, linking small communal teaching spaces with open courtyards. The plan is arranged to produce several shared spaces, sheltered by the surrounding classrooms and community facilities. Furthermore, the teaching spaces are planned so that students move cyclically through the school, with their physical progression around the campus diagramming their educational progression from the Early Learning Centre, through to the final years of primary school. Each learning community represents a different pedagogical model, expressed through different planning principles, driven by an overarching aim to improve literacy, numeracy and creativity in the students. In this way the planning endeavours to construct an atmosphere that facilitates a fluid and rich journey through the early years of early academic life.

Completed
January 2013
Location
King Street, Dallas
Awards

Australian Institute of Architects National Awards 2014

Winner- National Award for Public Architecture

Australian Institute of Architects Victorian Chapter 2014

Winner – Victorian Architecture Medal

Winner – Melbourne Prize

Winner –  William Wardell Award for Public Architecture

World Architecture Festival 2013

Shortlisted Schools Category

Architizer A+ Jury 2015 Award

Winner –  Architecture and Community

Think Brick Awards 2014

Finalist

Publications

Architecture Victoria Annual Awards, Magazine (Cover Story), 2014
Architecture Australia Nov 2014 Issue 6, online 6 Nov 2014
Architizer, 25 March 2015
Architecture & Design, 4 Aug 2014
Dezeen, 1 July 2014
Think Brick Awards Showcases, 2014

Sustainability

The design of the Dallas Brooks Community Primary School incorporates several initiatives delivering enhanced sustainability outcomes, and does this within the requirements of standard departmental capital works procedures and guidelines.

Natural ventilation is maximised as a key principle throughout the design. The plan form and the orientation of openings harness cross-flow ventilation, with fixed sun shading optimised to each orientation to minimise solar heat loads. Internal walls of exposed and painted blockwork provide a high level of insulated thermal mass to assist with regulating internal environmental temperatures. Clerestory windows in the learning environments are connected to a building management system to exhaust hot air and, in combination with automated low-level air-intake vents, provide night purging to this thermal mass – ‘re-setting’ it for the following school day.

The electrical and mechanical services are optimised through automated monitoring. This principle extends from the selection of energy efficient lighting, which is connected to motion- and daylight sensors, to the ceiling fans and low-energy hydronic heating system. Low VOC finishes and linings are used throughout.

The design harvests rainwater in a 100,000lt in-ground tank. The rainwater storage is plumbed to cisterns throughout the school, with overflow redirected to landscape irrigation. The incorporates experimental measures not often seen in departmental projects: the ‘solar wall’ connected to the school gymnasium, for example, provides for energy efficient heating of this large volume by harnessing passively ‘heated’ outside air that is mechanically ventilated throughout the space. The benefits are two-fold: reduction of the building’s on-going energy costs, and provision of a higher volume of fresh air to improve indoor air quality.