KIOSC, Knox Innovation Opportunity and Sustainability Centre, has established a centre of excellence training hub for the delivery of green education and training, focusing on environmental sustainability and responsible management.
The centre presents an exciting opportunity to combine both sustainable practice in building design along with secondary and TAFE (Technical and Further Education) curriculum. Engaging with seven different schools, the building will also be used by Swinburne University TAFE students.
The design of the building reflects its purpose of operation – sustainability, inclusion and innovation. It includes sustainable materials, energy efficiency through correct building orientation and integration of siting and building fabric with engineering services.
The design comprises a two story building with the main functional areas grouped and separated on each floor. The lower ground floor incorporates five VET/TAFE labs, while the first floor (and main entry point) accommodates the Discovery Centre. The Discovery Centre has been conceived as an immersive environment for students in years 7 to 12, engaging them with the concept of sustainability utilising technology and innovation.
The circulation space at the upper level includes displays such as interactive models, climatic experiences, and touch screens, showcasing sustainable technologies and developments. The main simulation/presentation space is central to the design of the KIOSC Discovery Centre. It accommodates 100 students for a variety of teaching and learning modes, enriched by multiple touch screens – conceived for use in groups of four students – and an immersive curved projection wall.
Custom designed games and programs have been developed especially for the curriculum. Movable informal furniture enables the space to change with ease for different educational modes. A smaller simulation space features an interactive floor surface and a ceiling-mounted screen to encourage students to move around and engage with technology in different way.
Two discovery labs have been designed to enable the delivery of a science curriculum, including chemistry and physics. They are flexible in design, allowing for different table configurations. Glazing to adjacent spaces has been utilised to showcase the teaching and learning taking place. An external terrace provides a thermal buffer to the eastern-most discovery lab. The terrace has a sustainable landscape which can be used as an external ‘classroom’, further contributing to the sustainable theme of the building.
Glazing has been optimised to the building’s north and south elevations to maximise the potential for natural lighting and to minimise artificial lighting. Solar shading has been provided to glazed walls, minimising direct solar loads and reducing glare. East and west facing glazing has been minimised and where necessary is protected by deep reveals or building overhangs.
Natural ventilation is optimised by the use of operable windows to a minimum of 5% of the building floor area, while the majority of external walls are heavily insulated to minimise heat gain in summer and heat loss in winter.
The themes of ‘reflection’ and ‘refraction’ have informed the design of the northern elevation of the building. A series of cranked vertical sun-blades provide an active overlay to north facing glazing, providing an ever-changing composition to passers-by.
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Architects: Woods Bagot
Principal In Charge: Sarah Ball
Design Architect: Bruno Mendes
Project Architect: David Ley
Project Team: Matt Si, Richard Galloway, Claire Gardiner
Collaborators: Swinburne University and Schools Consortium
Engineer/Consultant: Meinhardt Group
Builder: Harris HMC
Area: 1,800 sqm
Client: Swinburne University of Technology & KIOSC Schools Consortium
Photographs: Peter Bennetts