This teaching, research and engagement centre based in the University of Melbourne’s Melbourne Graduate School of Education, has an overtly exaggerated response to the brief. It’s a mix of different spaces that are flexible not unlike a Transformer. Through progressive innovation, studioFive breaks new ground in pedagogical environments by pushing the capabilities of each zone with more daring than is expected. The interior’s robustness feels brave and confident and this lends the project longevity. Breakout areas add a domestic scale to the overall scheme and create plenty of room to either retreat quietly by oneself or collaborate in a group. While each highly functional space is distinct, the intricacy of the ceiling – in its many theatrical variations – is the unifying factor visually drawing everything together. The level of detailing and finish may be excellent, but the architects’ have thoughtfully made sure it never overshadows the programmatic requirements. They’ve been able to look beyond mere embellishment to realize a heightened environment conducive to achieving the best pedagogical outcomes possible.
studioFive is a teaching, research and engagement centre, based in the Melbourne Graduate School of Education, repurposed from an existing office building. studioFive is a space that generates pedagogies to meet the needs of 21st century learners and is one of seven international UNESCO Arts Observatories.