in melbourne, woods bagot were chosen to design the new extension to the ruyton girls school. named the ‘margaret mcrae centre’, the architecture focuses on promoting collaboration and individuality. the new building has elevated the campus with architecture and integrated interiors facilitating learning in a digital age, with a variety of spaces for task-based, student-centered flexible learning. outside, the stone-clad structure defined by a section that is seemingly carved out of the corner to reveal a timber-clad recess.
inside, woods bagot created a learning environment with technology-rich, interactive spaces. these include a mix of formal and informal learning spaces – a dedicated base for year 7 and 8 girls, science, drama and event facilities. the concept of the classrooms are based on transparency, mobility, adaptability and centered around the students. mobile furniture decorate the rooms, allowing for maximum flexibility and an emphasis on collaboration. meanwhile, internal glazing creates transparency between classrooms and the break-out space, doubling as an informal space for small group activities.
the form and material expression derives from medieval buildings of the ruyton xi towns of which the school is named after. the stone pavers that clad the envelope have been adapted for use as a rain-screen cladding system. this maintains the solidity of the surrounding brick buildings, while providing contrast in terms of scale, color, vertical orientation, and sculptural form.
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