Hunter Wetlands Environmental Learning Centre

A sustainable school in a RAMSAR internationally protected wetland located in the Hunter Region of NSW

Client

Hunter Wetlands Centre Australia & NSW Department of Education and Training Maitland-Newcastle Diocese Catholic Schools Office

Location

Newcastle, NSW
Hunter Wetlands Environmental Learning Centre

 

The design highlights and showcases its natural setting, forming a strong connection to the adjacent wetlands ponds and environment thus providing learning spaces focussed on the local ecosystem. Functionally it is comprised of three distinct components – a classroom module including a wet activity room, a staff and support building, and an outdoor covered learning area utilising a large roof that hovers over this centralised space. A dipnetting wharf reaches out into the pond for students to collect specimens for microscopic study.
 
Emphasis was placed on the use of sustainable materials and systems, extensive natural lighting, adjustable external shading and 3 translucent skylight towers for internal light and stack-effect ventilation. The flexible design allows for the incorporation of active environmental systems such as a 10kW solar power system when funds become available.

 

Processes used in this project