The Planex xLocker2 system was selected by Law Architects as part of the redevelopment and new build at the Overnewton Anglican Community College campus in Keilor Victoria.
School design today encompasses more than utilitarian classrooms with long narrow corridors herding jostling students from one class to the next. Architects and designers are creating dynamic spaces that have fluidity and afford multiple activities both planned and unplanned. Overnewton College designed by lead architect Jonathan Witty is a great example of this design approach.
Overnewton’s new build has a series of classrooms that wrap around a central amphitheatre connecting the lower and upper story of the building with a very large cathedral-like roof structure opening up to the sky. You can’t help but be impressed as you enter the space. The amphitheatre can be used as a classroom or gathering space with 2 intermediate platforms allowing teachers to separate classes into smaller groups enabling a diverse range of applications.
One of the issues architects have in creating spaces like this is regulating acoustics. Allowing for clarity in projecting sound without too much background noise is something that Jonathan was very concerned with, which led him to select the Planex xLocker2 system for use throughout the new and existing buildings. The perforated doors allow sound to travel through rather than be reflected back into the space, a key benefit in choosing Planex’s lockers. 
Jonathan used the lockers to wrap around the central amphitheatre. The colour palette is calming, warm and sophisticated. Golden metallic lockers and a pale eucalypt with timber throughout the build provides a rich textured interior. The use of timber baffles on the ceiling and carpet also help to absorb noise. He also included a series of incidental nooks for impromptu conversations for student-to-student, student-to-teacher, teacher-to-parent and teacher-to-teacher to use. These nooks cleverly provide a level of intimacy within a large public space.
The placement of the lockers required a level of customisation to fit into and around some irregular angles. Planex worked with the architects to create special infill panels which were considerably more economical than custom joinery. In total Planex installed 753 lockers across the new and refurbished campus.
Jonathan explained to me Law Architects pride themselves on building relationships with their clients and listen carefully to their individual needs. This is certainly very evident within the design of Overnewton College and Planex is proud to assist in the design of such a wonderful teaching space. Many designers think that a metal locker is noisier than laminate however that is not the case when you understand how noise travels through space. Perforated steel doors will reduce more noise than solid laminate doors. Planex conducted a series of tests with the CSIRO to give their clients the assurance they need in making good design decisions.
Link to project click here.
Photography by Dianna Snape