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Awards, BVN Stories, News — May 31, 2022

The school you wish you went to just won four awards

This week we won four awards for our sustainable (public) school in Brisbane. But that’s not the only reason we’re proud. It’s deeply connected to the land, and to Country. It’s based on some radical thinking about learning and teaching. And it’s setting the bar high for projects with a shared sensibility, on the horizon.

Understanding “place” starts from the ground up and BVN’s Designing with Country methodology meant that even before a brick was laid, the site of the Brisbane State Secondary College was treated with utmost respect. Acknowledging that a sit belong to a specific Country enables us to draw inspiration, ideas and opportunities directly from that place and the people who belong to it.

BVN Principal Architect, Kevin O’Brien, brought an indigenous lens to the land and embedded this thinking into the design. Some of this is inscribed in the very fabric of the school - in the colour scheme, the framing of specific views, and carving patterns in the walls. It frames the student experience with a deep sense of care and connection to the natural landscape in which it stands.

Everything about this campus speaks to a focus on excellence - a progressive environment that supports collaboration and a community of learning.

Read the full story here

Enter the school through the large sunken courtyard and you’re in a vast, welcoming space that’s open, generous and green. It instantly invites participation with the school, its grounds and its people. Pass through this portal, and you arrive in the central terraced garden; a learning ‘oasis’, not only a green heart for the campus but also a sheltered space for outdoor learning, social interaction and play.

Everywhere you look is open. Suspended gardens, with green ‘nooks’ to gather for lunch and chats. Glass fronted classrooms that open onto walkways and connect each of the five building hubs. Double and triple height spaces that bring light into corridors and performance spaces.

Understanding the Indigenous Dutton Park habitat was a key aspect to the holistic nature of the design. The architectural language is derived from the Indigenous heritage of the site as a place of making, expressing the craft of net weaving and tool carving within the metalwork and concrete tectonics.

Key spaces within the school face special views, light or aspect, connecting the school to its place and heritage.Extensive native landscaping ties a wide variety of outdoor spaces together.

Sustainability permeates the design and the educational philosophy of the school.Solar power, water harvesting, natural ventilation and low energy systems reduce impact. And provide the platform for an educational focus on a “sustainable world” through recycling facilities and systems throughout the school.

What’s next? BVN will soon be celebrating the opening of its next public school nearby – New Farm State School.

To read more about Designing with Country download our eBook below or join our VIVID Ideas Event on 11 June here

Discover the full Designing with Country eBook here
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