St Clare’s Learning Commons

A learning and social hub with student wellbeing at the heart of the design.

Project Details

Location: Griffith, ACT

Completion: 2022

The Learning Commons at St Clare’s College has been conceived with the purpose of nurturing community and student engagement in a calm and uplifting environment. The primary goal is to provide an environment that supports collaboration, creativity, and independent learning. This is achieved by offering a variety of spaces that cater to different learning styles and needs. Whether students prefer quiet spaces for solitary study or collaborative spaces for group work, the hub provides engaging spaces for all.

“The design of the Learning Commons is integral to its educational purpose as a multifunctional learning space.  Level 2 provides extraordinary opportunities for senior students to socialise and study within an environment that is both visually connected to the outside yet cocooned in the supportive structure of the Learning Commons. Level 1 is focussed on ‘reading’ with the design channelling students along the book stands with opportunities for individual, supported and collaborative reading. The ground floor’s five unique, but interconnected spaces encourage teachers to explore flexible and creative ways to teach and for students to be inspired in their learning.”

The scale of the building unifies the existing 1960s campus, anchoring the college to Canberra Avenue and establishing it as a communal hub for the campus. The pattern of vertical sunshade fins on the building’s facade is a nod to the rhythm of the surrounding buildings, and helps regulate east and west sunlight, while also providing privacy from the road and nearby developments. The new hub connects to an original two storey classroom wing of the campus – which we fought to retain and upgrade, resulting in an outcome that not only met the educational needs of the college, but also preserve the collegial character of the campus and exceed energy efficiency standards.

The Learning Commons represents a meaningful investment in the future of its students, providing them with a dynamic and inspiring environment to foster their academic and personal growth.