International design practice MODE continues to grow its Education portfolio, securing work across Australia, by successfully delivering projects for primary, secondary and tertiary clients. Profiting from 25 years’ experience, their most recent success comes as part of Western Australia’s first Public Private Partnership (PPP) in the education sector.
MODE, as part of the EduWest Consortium, were awarded lead contractors to deliver eight new schools, four new primary schools and four secondary schools, to open progressively from 2017 to 2023. Through the use of lightweight construction techniques, MODE has established a process for maximising the flexibility of spaces on a day to day basis, while also providing inherent adaptability in the structure to allow it to morph and adjust as the uses and technical requirements of each space evolve over time.
With the rapid changes in educational models and delivery methods, the only certainty is that requirements will change over the lifespan of any building, either through changing pedagogies, advancing technologies or demographic shifts. In response, MODE believe it is essential that they ensure that every educational facility adopts a flexible and adaptable solution that can respond easily to the shifting needs of the user groups.
“Adaptability is essential in any school environment. With a design life of 50 years, it is imperative that buildings have the capacity to adapt to changes that, although not entirely predictable, are inevitable.” - Robert McCray, MODE Principal
MODE’s much awarded Bullocky Point Education Precinct is another example of innovative and successful design for the practice. The Northern Territory School of Distance Education (NTSDE), located within the grounds of Darwin High School, provides an invaluable flexible distance service, providing secondary education for students in remote regions. It provides a unique opportunity for students of both schools to interact and provides a cutting-edge environment for staff and students to advance their studies.
Utilising MODE’s pivotal design tool, Innovation Capitalisation™ (IC), the multidisciplinary team were able to draw from the four key pillars (social, economic, environmental and educative) to generate the best possible outcome for the client, allowing MODE to engage the community, activate spaces and build a better facility that responded to the needs of real people.
MODE have also successfully delivered two performing arts centres for school communities in Brisbane in the last 5 years. The Albany Creek State High School Performing Arts & Music Centre is a 124-seat theatre space and music centre, and off the back of its success, a 500-seat Performing Arts Centre for Wavell State High School was completed in 2018, both utilising innovative design to cater for the demands of the schools and the local communities.
“The success of the performing arts centres came from ensuring the design adopted a flexible and adaptable solution that could respond easily to the shifting needs of the user groups.” – Andy Pham, MODE Director and Education Lead.
Achieving a Six Star Green Star for The Education Gateways Building (EDGY), MODE was awarded for their innovative design solution, focusing on three key aspects to deliver the project – The establishment of a strong urban edge, visual connection of internal and external elements and innovation. Part of the second phase of development for the University of Southern Queensland’s Springfield campus, the project was designed to integrate and connect with both the developing infrastructure and existing buildings, accommodating a further 350 full-time tertiary students.
With the delivery of several more educational facilities over the next 12months, including two key facilities in New South Wales, MODE is well situated to continue expanding their reach in the education sector and growing their extensive portfolio across all 10 studios in Australia, New Zealand and Vietnam.