Lindfield Learning Village

  • area / size 333,681 sqft
  • Completed 2019
  • Location Sydney, Australia,
  • DesignInc with Lacoste+Stevenson and BMC2 transformed the Lindfield Learning Village into an award winning school community in Sydney, Australia.

    Lindfield Learning Village Stage 1 is the adaptive reuse of a highly significant Sulman award winning Brutalist building (previously the UTS Ku-ring-gai campus) to a K-12 Department of Education campus. The project synthesises a range of highly complex heritage, safety, bushfire and educational pedagogy considerations into an elegant and successful design solution where integrity of the original place is retained and enhanced.

    Based on an innovative educational model where learning is determined by ‘stage not age’, students at Lindfield Learning Village progress through the educational curriculum at their own pace. This revolutionary Schools Infrastructure NSW project allows each child to be individually nurtured by educators who mentor their progress from Kindergarten to Year 12 with the primary focus on developing their skills through tailored curriculum that is aligned with their natural, innate abilities.

    DesignInc worked in collaboration with Lacoste+Stevenson and BMC2 to evolve the spatial planning and organisation of the original campus design to respond to the new educational model and to establish a social environment that optimises the intrinsic qualities of the building. The original design for the building was based on a hilltop village concept with an internal ‘street’. The design team capitalised on this feature to weave multiple activities together, creating innovative education zones for learners of all ages while fostering the close collection of teachers and students as a social entity.

    With a sensitive approach to the building’s original character, new additions are easily identifiable through the use of distinctive geometries and materials that respond sympathetically to the brutalist concrete, exposed brick, and glass aesthetic of the original structure.

    Creating an outdoor learning and playing environment in keeping with the innovative indoor learning environment while providing safety from the risk of bushfire was a key approach taken by landscape designers of DesignInc. Throughout the adaptive reuse and refurbishment, the new design prioritises connection with the new landscape surrounds while maximising the variety of flexible learning environments on offer.

    A welcoming, human-scale environment is evident in the reconfigured learning spaces refurbished as flexible, bright, inviting and comfortable; fostering individualised multi-age learning. Robust and durable surfaces and expansive sliding glass panels maximise indoor – outdoor connection and multiply the learning opportunities.

    The existing 800-seat Greenhalgh Theatre is available for use by both the school and community. Lecture theatres, expansive library, drama and music facilities, gymnasium and sports grounds further encourage community participation. A distance education learning unit and administration areas complete the campus. When fully realised, six ‘Schools within a School’ each with 330 students will comprise the education village accommodating 2000 pupils and up to 200 educators.

    Design: DesignInc with Lacoste+Stevenson and BMC2
    Photography: Tyrone Branigan