VMCH’s St Paul’s College in Balwyn has once again been recognised for its state-of-the-art design, helping to transform the lives of students with complex disabilities.
Late last year, the school’s designer ClarkeHopkinsClarke Architects secured a win in Learning Environments Australasia’s (LEA) Contemporary Design in Education Awards (Renovation/Modernisation over $5m’).
On June 9, this win took them to the regional awards, where they were up against designers from Australia, South East Asia and the South Pacific.
St Paul’s Principal Tim Hemphill – who attended the online awards ceremony – said he wasn’t surprised ClarkeHopkinsClarke were honoured with a Commendation. He said shared spaces including staff retreats, a multi-purpose Discovery Centre, and an atmospheric Sensory Room with state-of-the-art interactive LUMES light panels had been hugely beneficial to the school community.
“The design has provided an amazing learning environment for our students and teachers. It facilitates collaborative planning and sharing of skills, knowledge and experience. It also helps our partnerships with mainstream schools for dual enrolment students by creating a warm, inviting environment for meetings and professional learning.”
Tim added the design had had a profound impact on the entire school community since they moved from Kew in January 2019.
“We’re most proud of the message our new campus sends students and families when they arrive each day: you are highly valued and deserve the best environment possible in which to spend each school day.”
Simon Le nepveu, ClarkeHopkinsClarke Education Partner, says the key to St Paul’s design success was getting everyone on board at the outset.
“Our planning process was very consultative and allowed us to condense six months of stakeholder engagement into one,” he says. “We earned the support of key stakeholders by showing what’s possible in a purpose-built environment, and by developing a very detailed program of requirements. Once parents and teachers understood the design process and its potential, their excitement and input grew.”
We congratulate ClarkeHopkinsClarke on their Commendation and for working in collaboration with the St Paul’s College community to provide the best possible environment for our students to learn and grow.
Photo credit: Rhiannon Slattery