2016 Victorian School Design Awards

Children sit reading in a reading nookSchools designed to be inclusive and community hubs were among those recognised at the 2016 Victorian School Design Awards held last night at Federation Square.

The awards celebrate the outstanding contribution of the architectural community to school design.

A total of six awards were given in the categories of Best Primary School; Best Secondary School; Best School Project Below $1 million; Best School Project Between $1 million and $3.5 million; Best School Project Above $3.5 million and the inaugural Ministerial Commendation for the Best Use of Inclusive Design.

Education Minister James Merlino presented architects ClarkeHopkinsClarke with the inaugural ministerial award for Officer Specialist School.

The school opened in 2014 on a new site 49km south-east of Melbourne and designed to be an integral part of the rapidly growing community.

Parents were heavily involved in researching and planning the design of the school, which is part of an education hub with Officer Secondary College.

The school caters for students aged five to 18 years of age with a broad range of abilities and a variety of complex needs.The specialist school has four distinct, age-based learning communities each with a kitchen, performance spaces and multi-sensory rooms to ensure students, teachers and staff have the best facilities and resources at their fingertips.

The awards, reinstated after five years, reflect the Victorian Government's commitment to building the Education State.

Mr Merlino paid tribute to the architects gathered at the event saying they were helping make the Education State vision a physical reality.

"You design schools that inspire great pride in a school community," he said.

The judges were Jill Garner, State Government Architect; Clare Newton, Associate Professor, Learning Environment, Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning, University of Melbourne; and Julia Aitkin, education and learning consultant with Learning By Design.

Ms Aitkin said she was excited at the return of the awards.

“The Victorian state system is actually leading the world in contemporary school design so it’s terrific to see it celebrated and to encourage architects,” she said.

“They make decisions based on what is best for all learners. It’s about what schools and what designs actually create the learning environment that’s going to make a difference for the kids.”

Details of the 2017 Victorian School Design Awards will be announced in the new year.

Award Winners

  • Ministerial Commendation for the Best Use of Inclusive Design: ClarkeHopkinsClarke, Officer Specialist College
  • Best School Project Below $1 million: Wendy Hastrich Architect Pty Ltd, Kananook Primary School
  • Best School Project Between $1 million and $3.5 million: ClarkeHopkinsClarke, Sandringham College
  • Best School Project Above $3.5 million: Gray Puksand, Somerville College Technical Education and Trade Training Centre
  • Best Primary School: Minx Architecture, Fairhills Primary School
  • Best Secondary School: Baldasso Cortese, Ashwood High School.​

For more information about the awards, see: Victorian School Design Awards