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Dandenong, Melbourne
Community, Education

Dandenong West Primary School

Dandenong, Melbourne
Community, Education

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  • Our involvement at Dandenong West Primary School, focused on the refurbishment of a heritage building which housed activities such as teaching spaces, staff administration space and areas for extra curriculum activities. Two additional existing buildings that were in poor condition were also demolished and replaced with:

  • a new multipurpose building with shared use facilities to support the community, and a new learning building catering for the equivalent of 5 classes.

  • Officially opened in 1925, Dandenong West Primary School is located approximately 30km south east of Melbourne city in the suburb of Dandenong. The school’s student population is culturally diverse and typically ‘newly arrived’, with many families having been in Australia for less than five years and a significant portion for less than two years.

  • Through workshops with staff and students it became clear that the diversity and requirements of the students drove the teaching at Dandenong West with staff making every effort to help their transition to Australia to be as smooth as possible. With that in mind the metaphor of “home and coming together” was developed and woven into creation of the new spaces for Dandenong West Primary School.

  • The existing heritage building on site was a source of school pride. This saw some major repairs to the facade and reinstatement of the original facade of the building. To facilitate the continued functional use of the building we respectfully intervened and made minor alternations to spaces to fill them with light and promote connection across corridors.

  • For the learning community, we workshopped the pedagogical model with the school principal who was keen to explore a new collaborative teaching style that would cater for the diversity of students. The interior space was carefully designed to manage acoustics, safety