The Melbourne suburb of Sunshine has a youth unemployment rate hovering around 18 percent, a reflection of the area’s reliance on a declining manufacturing sector. Enter the Sunshine Skills Hub, a new addition to Victoria University Polytechnic’s trade training center, focused on re-equipping the workforce for a changing job market. To complement a practical curriculum based on acquiring real-world know-how, Woods Bagot designed the facility with a pragmatic program intended to privilege hands-on learning. Classrooms are fully loaded with emerging technologies like virtual-reality and 3D modeling software on touch-screen computers, while natural materials in warm and neutral tones create a comfortable and inviting learning environment. In addition to classrooms, the three-story center houses staff accommodations, a café and kitchenette, and student services. The building’s sawtooth-shape facades are a nod to the neighborhood’s history—a visual reference to the agricultural equipment once made at the giant Sunshine Harvester Works, around which the community grew and took its name.
Project Team: Sarah Ball; Bruno Mendes; Jo Dane; William Thiessen; David Zito; Natalie Aganoff; Mluk Nehme; Petar Klenkoski; Kel Dennis; Jordon Saunders.
> See the full list of winners and honorees from Best of Year 2020