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Timboon P-12 New 5-8 Sub school
by Rowan Opat Architects



The Timboon P12 New 5-8 Subschool provided us with a unique brief and an opportunity to respond to pedagogy with architecture. This was our first public job. The school wanted a technology rich, flexible learning facility. We responded to their pedagogy by providing an open plan. In order to achieve this outcome successfully acoustic performance was of utmost importance to the design. The careful selection of materials successfully facilitates multiple classes/tasks simultaneously being performed in the large open plan space. As break out spaces, external timber decks are designed to contrast the tin shed-like structure. The decks are positioned to approximate the contours of the land and contrast the rigid form of the new building. The decks and doors to covered ways facilitate and extend learning beyond the class walls to the outside and into the landscape. We used sunlight as a readily available and informative design tool. The building is orientated due north; with a northern overhang providing shade from the summer sun. Sun angles have been used to determine fenestration in order that natural light highlights corresponding patterning on the carpet. These marking define teaching spaces and also act as a sundial, mapping out specific commemorative days relevant to the local and school community. The new

building is hinged on and forms part of the covered way linking the primary and secondary schools with the staff centre and library. The new 5-8 building is located half way between the primary and secondary schools. A circular seating area has been included as a forecourt seating area. The seating/forecourt areas is designed as a 1 to 1 scale fragment of the year 12 common room located in the secondary school, the windows are marked on the seating as a change in brick colour. This reconstruction reinforces the concept literally and metaphorically that the new 5-8 subschool is a ‘stepping stone’ between the primary and secondary schools, refer figures 7 & 8. This school building is as much about identity and pride of place as much as it is economy of construction and built form. The architecture of Timboon P-12 school builds a learning environment that literally lays the foundation for rituals to develop around the way students use the classroom. The Timboon P12 new 5-8 subschool maximizes the unique brief against the building budget. The design outcomes are the result of a synergy between the Timboon P12 School and Rowan Opat Architects, engaging with the context and brief to produce simple and evocative solutions. This scheme won the Department of Education School Design Awards 2007 best school under $2.5M.

Timboon, VIC
Rowan Opat Architects
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Rowan Opat Architects
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.Project Team
Structural consultant: Chrisfield Nettle
Civil consultant: Chrisfield Nettle
Electrical consultant: Youl Consultants Pty Ltd
Mechanical consultant: Youl Consultants Pty Ltd
Acoustic consultant: Ofinac Acoustical Engineers P/L
Quantity consultant: Prowse Quantity Surveyors Pty Ltd
Builder: B-D-H Constructions
Photographer: Peter Bennetts
Photographer: Peter Bennetts
Building surveyor: Brian Sherwell & Associates Pty Ltd

Photographs by Peter Bennetts & Peter Bennetts, text by Rowan Opat Architects

Link directly to this award entry: is the website of The Royal Australian Institute of Architects