Sunshine Skills Hub by Woods Bagot: 2020 Best of Year Winner for Higher Education

Photography by Peter Bennetts.

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.

Photography by Peter Bennetts.
Photography by Peter Bennetts.

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