We were thrilled recently to be awarded the overall winner of the 13th Annual Learning Environments Australasia Awards for Excellence in Educational Facilities from a field of 83 entries from across the Asia Pacific. It's always nice to receive awards and recognition after putting so many years of passion into a project.
What tops that though is the feedback from the school and the judges. The learning Environment Awards are unique in that entry requires a thorough description of the briefing process and educational narrative from the principal. These are often not seen we have reproduced them in this blog below. Feedback like this is the real reward.
Here is the citation from the awards jury.
Within a strong field of entries in this year’s awards programme, one project in particular stood aside from others. Lepperton School + Community Hall Development, located in the village of Lepperton, Taranaki, New Zealand immediately resonated with the jury, through its development journey and narrative, along with its thoughtful, succinct and well considered entry collateral.
Particularly, the project demonstrates investment in authentic community engagement in cocreating spaces of meaning, significance and purpose to this small country village – this school is truly at the heart of its community.
The project exemplifies the rewards and opportunities that arise through successful long-term authentic collaborations of architect, educators, students and communities in realising learning environments which belong to both place and community. Over several years the architect has journeyed with the school to understand their educational programme, responding with a series of connected learning hubs, configured across junior, middle and senior cohorts, with spatial outcomes that clearly acknowledge each student learns differently. The educational brief articulates the process undertaken to instigate design solutions and reiterations along the way. Spaces within the learning hubs support active, student led, project-based learning experiences and also junior play based learning – these spaces are readily adaptable to a range of learning modes. Finally, there is a commendable incorporation of well resolved sustainable design elements for energy efficiency, acoustics and future-proofing of facility.