Tomorrow’s school planning processes need to acknowledge that learning activity extends well beyond the edges of the Campus, both physically and virtually. Learning has become richer and more complex with new technologies generating new ways of learning and the tools to support them; students are seeking more collaborative and immersive experiences; not only is the school becoming an urban city campus, the world has become the classroom.
The learning environment is no longer just the “school”. It is an occurrence which can be any place, anywhere, anytime. A physical design’s success is not determined by curriculum alone. Formerly static and predetermined, curricula can now be variable, individually timed and self- paced, with this the physical environment needs to respond more to a set of relationships, activities and time than a compartmentalised curriculum.
PLC’s new Learning Resource Centre establishes a new participatory architecture that supports new communities of learners, an architecture that harnesses the potentialities of an existing well-structured campus and its physical spaces and places, pedagogical changes and the emerging learning environment that respond to these changes.
The Centre creates a series of space types and environments that are designed around patterns of human interaction, a “Learning Landscape” approach, an approach that is about leveraging the power of planning for interaction at the campus level and rather than approaching design and planning from the traditional perspective of siting a new building as a generic space type. The Learning Landscape approach defines a developing future school campus by envisioning a series of overlapping networks of compelling places and hubs. These networks offer choices to users, a balance of formal and informal type spaces, spaces where knowledge sharing and study can occur, that generate synergies through adjacencies and the clustering of a variety of programs and facilities.