Edinburgh College Junior Learning Y1-2

Edinburgh College is a Christian co-educational day college located in Lilydale in Melbourne’s outer east, on land set aside in the 1950s for the David Mitchell Estate. The campus therefore enjoys a peaceful semi-rural site in the foothills of the Yarra Ranges, providing mountain views, fresh air and an abundance of open space for young students to flourish. In 2018 the Primary School master plan was developed to meet the facility demands for the growing enrolment forecast for the school. The scope of the Years 1 & 2 project involves the extension of the existing classrooms to allow four streams in Years 1 & 2 and an additional specialist room for music and language.

The considerable level drop across the site required a considered design solution that minimised earthworks whilst maintaining accessibility. Internally, the split-level classrooms are connected by a central circulation “spine” containing stairs and a wheelchair lift. Group learning spaces that branch off the circulation spine further capitalise on the level drop with platform seating and integrated storage. Externally, a series of terraced outdoor learning spaces, platform steps and ramps connect into existing site pathways and become a learning landscape for students to explore, all sheltered by deep roof eaves and a soaring translucent canopy.

The material palette is restrained, with brickwork and metal cladding externally and neutral shades of pinboard and plywood joinery internally. The one exception is the central circulation spine, where daylight from skylights above is filtered through plywood ceiling battens finished in a vibrant raspberry hue, allowing them to double as a wayfinding element.