Dandenong High School – Stage 4


  • Hayball
  • HLC Constructions
  • Wood & Grieve Engineers
  • Wallbridge Gilbert Aztec
  • Wilde & Woollard Quantity Surveying


Located out in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne, Stage 4 of Dandenong High School masterplan sees the refurbishment of an existing two-storey 1970’s building into a contemporary Learning Resource Centre at ground level and Senior Media, Arts & Visual Communications learning areas to the first floor.

The Learning Resource Centre is a central hub to the whole school, providing a place for students to immerse themselves within the books. Whilst the Senior Media, Visual Communication and Art spaces provide students with an opportunity to experience the ‘professional design’ world.

Key Features


Using the existing 1970’s building as inspiration for creating an ‘industrial aesthetic’, the existing ceilings were stripped away to reveal a concrete waffle slab soffit to the ground floor whilst expressing the existing roof structure to the first floor, thereby creating overall height, volume and light into these spaces. The building services were carefully considered and expressed to provide a learning opportunity for the students.
To further enhance and play on the industrial aesthetic, materials such as clear lacquered OSB and plywood were used within the design of joinery and featured design elements.


The Learning Resource Centre (LRC) is a unique and communal space where staff and students from across the school can meet and learn together. It’s a communication centre, celebration space and learning hub with key resources for students and staff, including access to technology, photocopying and literacy sources and houses the LRC and IT help desks. The library design promotes the importance of literacy, the joy of reading and informal learning.


Throughout the design a series of carefully considered joinery elements have been developed around the functional requirements and strategically placed to define the spaces within, floating below the level of the ceiling/roof to further enhance the volume of the space. Often playing with height to provide elements of intrigue or privacy as needed.
These joinery items range in functionality from simple storage between learning areas to larger pods containing bookable meeting rooms to playful nooks, book storage and presentation.


The refurbishment provides an innovative, technology-rich and adaptable learning environment that supports a contemporary education model.

The LRC facilitates a diverse range of activities including presentations/gathering space, independent learning and reading spaces/nooks, group collaboration, independent borrowing stations, satellite help desks, and an exhibition/gallery extension supported by an IT and LRC help desk and staff centre.

Learning Areas to the first floor provide a professional-like setting and designed to be open facing onto the centralised design hub, allowing for an adaptable and nimble teaching space that can maximise learning opportunities in many configurations depending on the education needs at the time.


• Automated window louvres within a pop-up roof feature allowing hot air to be expelled from the building providing natural ventilation to the first-floor level.
• Use of joinery design using OSB and plywood to define spaces and provide storage rather than partitions.
• Express the existing concrete waffle slab to the ground floor and the existing roof structure to the first floor to reinforce industrial feel and create height.

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