Next Generation Learning Environments

Location

Caulfield, Victoria

Year

2019 – 2021

Services

Principal Consultant
Architecture
Contract Administration
Interior Design
Design team management

Advanced classroom design: A modern classroom with ergonomic furniture, interactive technology, and flexible seating options.

Overview

Seeking to create an immersive, state-of-the-art learning environment, Monash University’s Caulfield Campus undertook extensive research with University stakeholders. This investigation defined how space and fitout could best support a new way of learning that promotes meaningful collaboration. Over four years we further developed and applied this vision within 15 learning spaces across three buildings. These included classrooms within the ‘Art, Design and Architecture’ and ‘Business and Economics’ faculties.

Learning spaces that inspire

With large-scale, complex and innovative learning spaces central to our practice, we brought a wealth of technical experience and enthusiasm to this nuanced brief. We worked with the fundamental aim of encouraging students onto the campus through ease of use, inspiring learning spaces and a sense of shared-ownership.

A man in a classroom writing on a whiteboard, illustrating a concept or teaching material.
Research-driven design

This was a hands-on, detail-oriented project requiring the application of existing research plus the synthesis of early user feedback on pilot spaces.

Here, ‘refurbishment’ meant rethinking how the ageing buildings’ envelopes could be embedded seamlessly with high-tech AV, while simultaneously hosting unconventional interior layouts, which would be conducive to collaboration. These spaces needed to be more hardworking than in the past, due to the physical space required for technology and the modernised floorplans.

Three women in an office, engaged in a discussion at a table, showcasing advanced classroom design.

An integrated approach

Each fitout was informed by pre-existing research undertaken by Monash, student feedback and our interpretation of Monash’s design standards. In integrating the new designs, we were conscious of the wider campus context and the need to reinforce existing circulation patterns.

Shaping a sense of identity

We developed highly-detailed documentation to ensure clear interpretation of detailing while achieving uplifting, unique learning environments. The design introduced custom curves to frame doorways and seating nooks, alongside dynamic seating and custom table arrangements. Careful translation of engineering drawings, due to the AV-heavy nature of spaces, enabled us to envisage how technical requirements would impact physical spaces, and design accordingly.

Purpose-built for flexibility

For these cross-disciplinary learning spaces, flexibility was key. Our design enables shifts in classroom scale via a series of sliding doors that can modify between large and intimate spaces. We sought acoustics analysis that considered how spaces could be flexible, yet maintain quality acoustics and technological performance across all collaborative configurations. Additionally, we installed fittings that could enable safe transformation of spaces by staff.

A modern classroom with sleek tables and chairs, showcasing an advanced classroom design.

Empowering students to thrive

Students are embracing working beyond the standard classroom, with informal spaces and nooks well utilised. Our strategic approach has delivered motivating spaces that empower students to thrive in their learning. 

A spacious room with neatly arranged tables and chairs, creating a comfortable and inviting atmosphere.