The Urban Agora

Julia Wan
Dr Philip Oldfield, Ivan Ip, Mehrnoush Rad

How can the schools of today be elevated to become the future places of civic exchange and knowledge sharing?

In an age when collaborative and digital learning are prominent and schools become more of a physical platform to connect with others, the role of school changes from simply an information-delivering institution into a facility that promotes social interaction and knowledge exchange. One solution is the introduction of flexible learning spaces that can be transformed for public use after school hours. However, learning does not happen only within the confinements of classrooms. Many present school typologies still adopt traditional lecture-base teaching; isolating theory and practice. This project aims to challenge conventional mode of learning by considering community as the root of school and school as an opportunity for social and community sustainability.

The school design presents an accessible learning precinct in Ultimo, consisting Wentworth Park with learning pavilions, a library bridge and a school building. Strips of diverse programmatic interventions are the extension of the surrounding urban grid, providing a diverse learning experience. The library as one of these strips exhibits information and knowledge presented in different forms and media.