Whittlesea Tech School

Preparing learners for the jobs of the future

Location: Wurundjeri Country, 33 Cooper Street, Epping VIC
Status: Complete

Learning Environments Australasia Awards 2020 - Best New Facility under $8m

Learning Environments Australasia (Vic Chapter) Awards 2019 - Best New Facility under $8m

Whittlesea Tech School (WTS) is part of a 10-school initiative by the State Government, which is focused on developing critical STEM skills in Victorian secondary students. Located on the Melbourne Polytechnic Epping Campus, the new facility functions as an innovative learning hub, connecting 10,000 secondary students from 14 schools in the region to a technology-rich and industry-focused learning framework to prepare them for the jobs of the future.

WTS features outdoor and indoor, formal and casual, practical production and high-tech equipment spaces that are linked together to create a seamless project-based learning journey that prioritises exploration and presentation over repetition and examination.

When students walk through the front doors of Whittlesea Tech School they will enter a new world. A world of 3D printers and scanners, laser cutters, digital music composition equipment and all the other tools of tomorrow. A world where technology, imagination and innovation merge to create new solutions to old problems. A world where breaking with conventional wisdom is not only encouraged but it is expected. And a world where emersion in modern tech, gives rise to creative inspiration, unexpected discoveries and just as crucially an enormous amount of fun.
The Hon. James Merlino MP

Design elements such as large viewing windows, opening hatches, sliding doors and double-height spaces that visually connect levels, ensure that each learning environment is connected with at least two others. This enables learners to organically progress projects between ideation, production, testing, presentation and exhibition phases.

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Interiors were inspired by the learners’ path of innovation. A common language of leading lines with soft curves reminiscent of a circuit board or metro map appear across a range of forms; pendant lighting, wayfinding graphics, floor finishes, furniture forms and structure.

The auditorium staircase allows for large presentations, small group gatherings, and individual work. The workshop is ideal for agile learning for a single cohort, moving from wet to dry areas, or for team teaching up to 50 students. Each formal learning space is directly connected to a second learning environment with a breakout zone for seamless transitions.