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Learning Project Shines on World Stage

30 October 2017

Authored by Hayball

Hayball’s innovative prototyping project for Caulfield Grammar School, The Learning Project, has won the internationally renowned James D. MacConnell Award.

Regarded by the Association for Learning Environments (A4LE) as its most prestigious education design award (dubbed the ‘Oscar’ of education design), we couldn’t be more excited!

Honoured for “stimulating systemic change in the educational system by addressing difficult questions, challenging the status quo, and raising expectations”, The Learning Project’s win was announced at the A4LE’s 2017 international conference, Atlanta USA.

Essentially, The Learning Project is a series of prefabricated buildings with purposefully designed spaces for contemporary teaching and learning, which act as a testing ground for new learning models. Critical investigation of the successes and failures of all aspects of the project affords both the school and our design team a deep understanding of the links between pedagogy and space.

Director Richard Leonard said it was tremendous to win such a high calibre, international award.

“The project is small in comparison to our fellow finalists who entered designs for entire new school complexes – but it packs plenty of punch, thanks to its innovative model as a testing ground for a school, state-of-the-art prefabrication construction methods and research links with the University of Melbourne.

“The Learning Project started off as exactly that – a project that acted as a vehicle for change for Caulfield Grammar, heralding a new phase in the school’s transition towards bespoke facilities for a new pedagogy. But over time, it’s become much more than that – it’s a key subject of broader research evaluating the role of design in learning environments being undertaken at the University of Melbourne.

“We’re absolutely thrilled and proud of the team for their hard work since the project’s inception in 2013, and honoured to work with Caulfield Grammar School who championed such a pioneering project.”

In 2016 the Learning Project was simultaneously awarded Overall Winner at the Learning Environments Australasia Region Awards, where it also won the Education Innovation category. On the international stage it joins Hayball’s South Melbourne Primary School, awarded Future Project of the Year by the World Architecture Festival in Berlin, 2016.

After receiving such accolades locally and internationally, The Learning Project can now be regarded as a template for many other schools who are looking to transition to a 21st century learning model.

A longer version of the project video (4 minutes) can be viewed on the project page, Caulfield Grammar School, The Learning Project.

Finalists, James D MacConnell Award 2017

Overview, James D MacConnell Award