Perth school wins international design award

Hale Junior School. Photo: Andrew Ritchie
Hale Junior School. Photo: Andrew Ritchie

A PERTH school redevelopment has won an international design award – beating the likes of Caltech in California, a Japanese resort and a New York medical centre.

Hale Junior School designed by Perth’s Site Architecture Studio won the coveted People’s Choice award in the international Shaw Contract Design Awards, run by the commercial carpet and flooring provider.

The $16 million redevelopment opened in Wembley Downs last year and provides modern, flexible spaces across several buildings for different year levels, transformative classrooms, a learning hub and nature playground.

The redeveloped Hale Junior School. Photo: Andrew Ritchie

Features include a mix of standard and high desks, walls and desks that can be written on, a virtual reality lab and breezy art room overlooking a lake.

The project was a finalist in the education category alongside designs at prestigious Caltech, Georgia Tech, a Wisconsin agricultural centre and Australia’s Frankston Primary School and a childcare centre in Newcastle.

Classrooms at Hale Junior School. Photo: Andrew Ritchie

Voters from around the world chose Hale as the people’s choice winner, after it was selected by experts from 700 submissions from 32 countries.

Site interior designer Naomi McCabe said they helped the school realise its desire for a learning environment that mirrored its educational philosophy of prepare, teach and connect.

“The strength in the design of the flexible teaching spaces ties back to Hale’s ‘Prepare, Teach, Connect’ learning philosophy,” she said.

“The multi-functionality of the teaching spaces enables the teacher to enact a noisy energetic session (to prepare), then quickly set-up for a stand-and-talk learning class (to teach) or smaller working groups (to connect) within the same room.”

There is an emphasis on nature as part of the redevelopment. Photo: Andrew Ritchie

The project also recently won the educational architecture award at Australian Institute of Architects’ WA Architecture Awards.

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