Wesley at Clunes
New Teaching Spaces and Student Housing
The Wesley College ‘Clunes’ Campus facilitates the 8-week residential learning program that forms part of the College’s Year 9 curriculum. The program is a longstanding and cherished tradition, building foundational life skills and confidence through independent living. It also seeks to prepare students for the transition to post-secondary education and into the workplace through encouraging creative solution generation and collaboration with peers. This framework underpins the built form of the upgraded Campus. The existing Campus was comprised of accomodation for up to 104 students across 13 student accomodation buildings, 7 staff residencies and general purpose spaces within the Jubilee Hall and Uniting Church building. The growth of student numbers combined with a desire to upgrade existing facilities led to WBa’s engagement on the project.
The new facilities include Art and Technology Studios, Covered Outdoor Learning Areas, General Purpose Studios, the Demonstration Kitchen, Student Residences, the restored heritage dwelling, and amenities. Importantly, DDA compliant access was provided across new facilities. In keeping with the capacity of existing student accomodation buildings, the two new Residences house up to 8 students each. The Residences are two storey with each comprised of an open plan kitchen /living/ dining room, bedroom, bathroom and laundry facilities at ground floor level and three bedrooms and bathroom facilities at first floor level. The student housing and broader facilities promote independent living by allowing students the space to carry out daily tasks including budgeting, cooking and cleaning.
The response to the site reflects the dominate character of the area which is one of grouped buildings arranged around a landscape space. The setbacks, arrangement and visual relationship of the six separate yet attached structures breathes air, greenery and space into the proposal. The siting of learning Studios and the Demonstration Kitchen along the timber deck reflect this arrangement, with the connection of spaces via a shared skillion roof plane providing sheltered circulation. The project incorporates environmentally sustainable development initiatives including solar panels and rainwater tanks for irrigation, and responds appropriately to all objectives contained in the planning scheme. A total of 152 solar panels are located on the skillion roof of the studios. Further, the principles of permaculture and self-sustenance are facilitated through the inclusion of communal spaces such as vegetable planters, orchard trees, a chicken coup and a green house.