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Mount Stromlo High School, ACT

A public high school in a growing ACT suburb wanted to create a learning hub and reinvent how the school perceives a library. They needed to transition from a traditional library encompassing rows of high bookshelves to what is now a far more open, collaborative, and multipurpose environment.

Driven by a need to push forward and create a modern learning environment, the ideal choice was to reimagine what could be done within the library. A simple refresh or merely substituting old bookcases with new pieces was not on the Business Manager, Sue Scott’s agenda. Her vision for this space was to create a timeless space that could adapt, adjust and grow as does the school, both in numbers and in learning pedagogy.

Discussing this with Beparta’s senior space consultant, Sue was made aware of the S.A.M.R (Substitution. Augmentation. Modification. Redefinition) model. This model is primarily used for ICT, but can be easily transferred to how Beparta designs a fit-for-purpose space. Taking the easy approach of simply substituting for a newer version of old products can be tempting, but does not add the additional value Sue wanted.

We approached the space after discussing in depth with Sue and her colleagues what they value most. Understanding the common need for a flexible work surface – one that can be used by the students for different activities and one that can be used by teachers, as development days and meetings also take place within this area. A writeable surface was expected and so too were light-weight pieces: the school had no use for heavy, bulky pieces that contradict the flexible nature of the space.

The learning hub of Mount Stromlo High School is one of the most modern, thought out, and collaborative spaces. Incorporating high tables, flip tables and multi-purpose collaborative tables whilst still providing sufficient seating for all its intended users. Seating ranges from stools, ottomans to couch seating. It has become a feature piece in the ACT and one that will set the standard for refurbishment of existing learning spaces.

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