Hester Hornbrook Academy

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ray Puksand’s design for the recently completed new Sunshine campus of The Hester Hornbrook Academy delivers a harmonious educational facility that is warm and welcoming.

Its high school age students are some of the most disengaged young people from some of the most disadvantaged areas of Victoria and the sensitive design response supports a relational pedagogy that builds a spirit of community, encourages inclusiveness, and promotes interaction.

The overall scheme is deliberately domestic in scale so as to provide a sense of safety and home.

Classrooms are positioned throughout the space’s core and at its boundary, with generous circulation paths beginning at the entry’s reception desk and winding their way throughout.

These are peppered with breakout zones and study areas that offer a range of different furniture settings so students can choose how and where they study.

It’s a flexible arrangement that accommodates the needs of students and allows them to either meet in groups or enjoy some quiet retreat time.

A centrally located kitchen provides an opportunity for socialising in an inclusive, open environment.

Like all of HHA’s different areas and zones, it includes planters to enhance a connection to nature.

This biophilic design principle is reiterated in the use of timber for a number of seating options, upholstery that features nature motifs and a colour palette that resonates with the outdoors.

Pastel green, soft pink, burnt orange and sky blue add visual interest and also offer a calming effect that’s conducive to a positive learning experience and sense of well-being.

All areas are also visually connected so students can see others using the space, which fosters a feeling of security.

The design’s emphasis is on community and belonging and for these students being a part of something is crucial, not only for their academic development but for their own personal growth.

Project Details

Project Size – 1,800 m2
Building Levels – 1
Completion Date – 2020

Project Team


Gray Puksand

Gray Puksand is a leading Australian architecture and integrated design practice with studios in Brisbane, Melbourne, and Sydney. They create places of integrity designed to improve the way people work, learn and live.



Tatjana Plitt

Tatjana is an award-winning artist and architecture/interiors photographer based in Melbourne. She completed her Bachelor of Media Arts at RMIT University and has exhibited her work throughout Australia and internationally.

Inspired by the power of architecture to shape how we feel, think and behave, Tatjana creates images that capture the mood and emotion of spaces.


Photo Gallery

Click on a thumbnail image to enlarge.

Design © 2021 Gray Puksand. All Rights Reserved.| Images © 2021 Tatjana Plitt. All Rights Reserved.

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