Ringwood Secondary College

  • area / size 14,327 sqft
  • Completed 2022
  • Location Ringwood, Australia,
  • ClarkeHopkinsClarke Architects designed an innovative space with ample opportunities for learning at Ringwood Secondary College in Ringwood, Australia.

    Yanna Mudjirr, Ringwood Secondary College’s Senior School Building linking young adults with community, has just taken out the 2022 Learning Environments Australasia Award for Best New Individual Facility Under $8M.

    It’s a challenge familiar to schools right across the country. How best to transition from a traditional campus of disconnected, inflexible, internalised spaces into an adaptable, coherent, learner-centred environment that prioritises student agency and strengthens community connections? Since 2015 Ringwood Secondary College, a single-campus school of more than 1600 students in Melbourne’s outer east, has been working closely with ClarkeHopkinsClarke Architects to masterplan and deliver transformative facilities, in stages over time. The gradual pace allows time for new approaches to learning and connecting with the local community to be tested, embraced and sustained.

    Stage 1 established a new architectural language for the College by introducing a purpose-built Junior School Building. Stage 2 augmented that with a contemporary split-level learning hub for senior students.

    At ground level, the Senior School Building features learning spaces separated by sliding glass walls, which can be reconfigured for collaboration or spill out into a versatile central space featuring a kitchenette, study nooks and tiered seating. A gallery on the upper level overlooks the central Study
    Centre and includes a casual break-out area, Media and ICT rooms. A bridge on the upper level connects through to Ringwood Training Centre and allows for sharing of

    A standout of Yanna Mudjirr is an informal, skylit study space overlooking the central void. Decorative screening, natural light, flexible bench seating and endless power points make it a popular place for students to connect or engage in self-directed learning. Another highlight is the specialist ICT spaces and facilities, created to an exacting brief. These form a new community hub used outside school hours by Ringwood Training.

    Previously, senior students accessed Ringwood Training’s vocational education facilities via a circuitous route. The new design introduces an upper-level bridge that links both facilities and literally elevates this important community partnership in the minds of learners and educators. The easy two-way flow of students between both facilities enables after-hours use of state-of-the-art ICT facilities by the Ringwood community and allows senior students to move seamlessly between VET and VCE learning.

    Design: ClarkeHopkinsClarke Architects
    Photography: Rhiannon Slatter