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Reaching for the Sky

03 . 04 . 2020

Gray Puksand’s latest project, Prahran High School, is the embodiment of a new architectural direction for the education sector. The School, located in Windsor some five kilometres south-east of Melbourne, is the perfect expression of planning for a compact site with Heritage overlay that is surrounded by a variety of neighbourhood typologies. The design incorporates every amenity for learning and as a trusted supplier, Planex was proud to provide product.

The project has been realised vertically over five levels and, deviating from the normal straight up-and-down cube design, Gray Puksand has cleverly created two slipped and shifted planes around a central light-filled atrium. Each level is offset and as the atrium evolves and extends through the building there is an abundance of natural light. The design resulted in large external balconies that provide green spaces and, most importantly, includes areas for students to learn and relax outside.

Stephen Turner, partner at Gray Puksand explained, “ That simple cutting, shifting and slipping of the planes provided different arrangements of spaces that we could layer throughout the building.”

Teaching areas are visible within the interior and amenity is second to none with a library, gymnasium, theatre space and adaptable learning environments plus facilities for specialist areas such as Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths (STEAM). There is also a rooftop garden that becomes a meeting place high in the sky, something a little different to the traditional grounded schoolyard.

The design of the Prahran High School promotes best practice in education and it was important that products for the interior fit-out were comparable. With a reputation for high quality products coupled with excellent customer service, Planex was commissioned to supply the xLocker2 system of lockers for student use. The products were manufactured at the state-of-the-art Planex factory in Melbourne and made from sustainable and locally sourced materials.

Our future lies with our children and all effort should be made to care for the world in which they live, work and play. For Planex, environmental responsibility is key, and the company adheres to and in many cases exceeds Government guidelines through its manufacturing facility that uses solar power, is constantly reassessing and reducing gas emissions and recycles 99% of all waste. The result is great Australian product produced through a sensitive and sustainable process.

Good design leaves its mark on the landscape and Prahran High School is an exemplar of the new education paradigm. Just as Gray Puksand has delivered an outstanding result for the students and teachers at Prahran High School so to have Planex products helped contribute to this fine resolution.