5 Star Green Star – Education Design v1

“Our School presents as a rich educational environment with a tangible soul which has been embraced by the school community from day one.” Peter Starford, Principal.

Suzanne Cory High School is one of four select-entry state high schools in Victoria.  This iconic, world class educational facility opened in 2011 and provides a university-style environment that supports the expectation that the students are young adults who are in control of their own learning.  The building has an innovative spatial organisation.  Learning, social and administrative spaces exist in an open arrangement around an internal landscaped ‘agora’ that constitutes the social and spatial heart of the School.

Suzanne Cory High School is the first 5 Star Green Star Secondary School in Victoria under the Education V1 tool.  Sustainable building measures are used as practical instruments for learning.  Special attention has been paid to ensuring students are able to observe the workings of the building and the incorporation of sustainability principles such as orientation, thermal mass, mixed mode ventilation, water recycling and sustainable landscaping. The agora is roofed with inflatable EFTE cushions that expand and contract dynamically, depending on external light levels, to control the space’s internal daylight levels.

The building has a powerful connection to its site on the Western Victorian Volcanic Plains. The building is shaped around the idea of tectonic forms, and is organised to minimise excavation into the rock strata of the site.  It employs a local wetland and spoil from the excavation as part of a geothermal heating and cooling system.   These spaces and conceptual stories are embraced by the students and help to connect them to their School and their environment.