Balwyn High School Year 9 Explore Centre

Balwyn High School Year 9 Explore Centre

The school is extremely pleased with the finished building, and has been overwhelmed with the number of groups wishing to visit, including academics from Harvard University.

Architectus has established a working relationship with Balwyn High School through master planning and the design of a number of significant projects over many years. The Year 9 Explore Centre is an initiative of the School and partly funded by the Federal Government Leading Schools Fund.

With years of experience and specific expertise in progressive pedagogy, Architectus was able to assist Balwyn High School in developing a brief for this project and to implement a design which is adaptive to the requirements of the education program.

The functional requirements and the spaces of the upper and lower levels of the building are diverse. Spatially, the lower level, the Year 9 Centre, is read sequentially despite ostensibly being open. A single linear learning area is collapsed, at first around an entrance wall and storage bank, and secondly around a light court allowing for numerous configurations without the use of moving walls or screens. The space can be used for large presentations and group projects, for traditional class group lessons, and for smaller seminars or quiet study.

Presenting a "shell" to the adjacent car park and basketball courts, the building opens out to the more private landscapes to the north and west. To the north, the Year 9 Explore Centre opens to an outdoor amphitheatre, a direct extension of the contained learning area. To the west, the casual play area is viewed through a filtering of perforated shutters and undulating locker bays.

Project Sheet

Project Summary

Balwyn High School
North Balwyn, VIC
Floor area
720 m²
Original value


  • 2007 CEFPI Victorian Chapter Awards Individual Category, Commendation

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