2023 – COMMENDATION, Best non-residential development, Boroondara Urban Design Awards

With student enrolments growing beyond 2200, Balwyn High School required at least 20 learning area spaces. This major B-Wing upgrade and rebuild was the initial brief. These spaces replaced 10 original 1954 classrooms in the asbestos-ridden LTC B-Wing, to provide visual transparency and flexibility for 21st century learning.

Consultation with Balwyn High School’s leadership group led to a larger, more forward-thinking expression of the project. The B-Wing redevelopment would leave the last remaining old LTC C-Wing landlocked, and it would be difficult to access the building containing the administration offices and ancillary rooms for future replacement. With restricted site access, Brand Architects proposed a modular three storey solution with construction of the building envelope off-site.

This was advantageous for the proudly high performing school, as it greatly reduced disruption to student learning. Brand Architects designed and detailed the buildings, collaborating closely with the offsite modular construction team.
The final design replaced 10 classrooms and existing ancillary administration functions with 24 new learning areas and new administration areas on the original building footprint. The Balwyn High School community is extremely pleased with the result.

In recognition of school Principal Deborah Harman’s vision and determination, the school community have named the new wing the Deborah Harman Centre for Learning.