Domremy College Nano Nagle Learning Centre awarded in LEA NSW Chapter Awards

20 January 2022

Authored by Hayball

We are pleased to share that Hayball’s  Domremy College, Nano Nagle Learning Centre was announced a winner in Learning Environments (Australasia) NSW + ACT Chapter Awards, category New Construction / Individual New Facility Over $ 8 million.

The Nano Nagle Learning Centre (NNLC) is the result of an extensive planning process involving a range of activities from stakeholder workshops to prototyping, occupancy evaluations and participatory action research. The educational brief established with Dr Ben Cleveland during the masterplan phase setout key planning principles around the goal of achieving “A growth mindset school – towards collaborative, entrepreneurial & interdisciplinary education.” As part of the development of the new NNLC, Domremy College embarked on an educational journey to transition to innovative learning settings. A prototype learning space, the Solais Sandpit, was developed to support this process. This was a refurbishment of an existing traditional classroom block into a suite of diverse learning settings enabling teachers and students to experience and test new pedagogical practices in a real world scenario. An interdisciplinary study led by Fiona Young (Hayball) and Dion Tuckwell (Monash University) combining participatory action research and codesign with Domremy teachers was conducted in this space to support this process. Feedback from participants was analysed, evaluated and incorporated into the design of the NNLC influencing learning settings, spatial connections, acoustic performance and user comfort.

The NNLC forms a new heart to the school. Bridging students across stages, it accommodates a school library and senior centre with a Year 7 & 8 Learning Hub. Designed around a central courtyard linking the new building to the adjacent arts precinct, cloistered walkways and a range of different outdoor learning settings activate this new social plaza.

“The Nano Nagle Learning Centre has allowed staff and students to reimagine teaching and learning. The space has been a catalyst for change, whereby teachers are encouraged to consider a variety of pedagogical approaches in their teaching and learning sequence which foster student-centred learning.”Vivienne Awad, Domremy College Principal 2012-2020.

Video overview of Domremy College, Nano Nagle Learning Centre.

The Learning Environments Jury commented:

“The Nano Nagle Learning Centre at Domremy College achieves an exceptional level of coherence in the design of a facility that is an expression and celebration of Nano Nagle’s mission ‘to shine a light on learning’.

The project was able to draw on extensive professional support by situating the project as a research project, but it was the project’s commitment to the development process, being a model of the learning processes the facility was being designed to support, that is the project’s signature feature.