National Award for Public Architecture

Source: The Age

“The winner of the major award of the night was the remarkable Dallas Brooks Community Primary School in Melbourne’s outer northern suburbs.

By McBride Charles Ryan, the school is designed to be knitted together through a series of shared courtyards to create what the architects refer to as a “mini city”.

The ambitious project was judged to have transcended ‘‘the petty banalities of government funding for public schools in Victoria’’, and offered back to the local community sporting, recreational and cultural facilities.”



This facility, which comprises a new Primary school, Community facilities and Community Park, was planned under the Broadmeadows Regeneration Scheme. The scheme was funded by the Victorian State Government under its Building Futures policy. This policy is a key component in the Victorian State Governments education strategy to ensure all Victorian communities have access to modern learning facilities. In this project two existing school communities have been brought together.

The Dallas Brooks Community Primary School is an exploration of how new pedagogy methods may be reflected in various configurations of age-appropriate learning spaces. Small unique learning communities have been developed which are knitted together through shared outdoor courtyard spaces in this mini city. In this way too the planning endeavours to construct an atmosphere that facilitates a fluid and rich journey through the early years of early academic life.

The project has required MCR to work in great intimacy with the school community, responding to their pedagogical insights and experience as well as the community’s unique cultural mix.



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