Iona Presentation College: An award-winning architectural rethink

Perth, Australia, 2016-20

NoTosh Team

Ewan McIntosh, Hamish Curry, Lauren Johns

Designing Spaces for Learning

Iona Presentation College

We helped create an award-winning learning environment at Perth’s Iona Presentation College, when they partnered with NoTosh for a powerful transition in the way the school envisions teaching, learning and the role of the school community. This led to the development of a fresh Masterplan for space design that genuinely reflects what’s possible in this school’s next 20 years.

Together, NoTosh and Iona focussed on a range of learning contexts and questioned everything about the way students experienced them, and the spaces in which the action happens; every area of the curriculum, space and teaching methodology was explored through new lenses.

Individuals had to adapt not only their own mindset, but also had to set about challenging and changing the entire school community’s understanding of what might be next practice in teaching and learning.

By immersing themselves into a deeper understanding of their current strengths, demands and obstacles through the NoTosh Design Thinking process, Iona began to prototype and quickly test what great teaching and learning could mean for them, and the spaces needed to achieve this.

The change in practice led to a greater understanding of the needs of staff and learners in the future, and a learning environment that became best in its class. In 2021, the project was Winner, Awarded to EIW & NoTosh, at the Learning Environments Australasia Awards 2021, in the class of New Construction over AUD $8m.

Throughout the Design Thinking process, our partnership with architects EIW made a noticeable difference to the insights and understanding gained for the formal masterplan. The ability to incorporate a clear vision of learning has created a more solid understanding of what is truly needed within the space.

We wanted to avoid creating a new learning environment that would jar with practice. But because NoTosh's prototyping process had loaded the team with the key next versions of their prototypes, the team at Iona Presentation College were able to implement change across the school.

Our partner architects, EIW, were then able to develop new spaces for learning and creativity that really work for learners and staff today, with plenty of scope for evolving practice in years to come.

And most of all, the school is able to continue to provide their students with the tools and space to grasp every opportunity given to them.

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