Fintona Girls School, New ELC

Balwyn, Victoria



This project involved major alterations and additions to an
existing residence, to accommodate 100 pre-school children.
Through provision of a complex and rich environment, the centre
is designed to support the Reggio Emilia philosophy, an approach
that focuses on bringing out children’s own natural intelligence
through co-operative, project-based learning.
Flexible learning spaces allow multiple activities to take place
concurrently. Each includes a specially equipped atelier (art
studio) as a part of each classroom. Subdued colours allow the
children and their work to take focus. The piazza at the heart
of the centre serves as a gathering place for the children and
meeting space for parents and teachers.
Entrances and thresholds have been made a feature, symbolising
transition and passage. Stormwater from the ELC is collected
to contribute to the school’s wetland area and the landscaping
promotes a sense of discovery and experience. The complex
incorporates innovative heating, cooling and ventilation systems.
The ELC forms part of the school Master Plan. Located in Balwyn,
Fintona Girls School resides within the City of Boroondara,
with all schools in this area required to obtain an approved
Development Plan to enable future works. The process involves
extensive community and local council consultation along with
the preparation of a master plan. Proposed works include a
Multipurpose Centre (complete), car parking, additions to senior
campus buildings, junior campus administration building, and the
new ELC based upon the Reggio Emilia approach.