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‘It was a dream project’: The new staff offices that double as music rooms at Gilson College

Imagine gaining a sleek office hub that could transform into soundproof music rooms – exactly when you need it. This is the potential of the versatile new spaces we’ve delivered for Gilson College, a thriving co-ed school in Melbourne’s north-west.

‘Great for schools that are growing… and fast’ 

Like most schools, Gilson College needed more space… yesterday.

Primarily, the search was for appealing office spaces that the staff would love. But for school business manager, Titilia Hafiz, it was equally as important to find fluid rooms that could house both students and staff, depending on how their school’s needs evolved.

After a quick Google search, Titilia found Harwyn.

“I remember looking at Harwyn’s work, and thinking, wow, if that’s a prefabricated classroom, that’s amazing,” says Titilia.

“They hold their own against traditionally made buildings, maintaining the modern look and feel.”

From there, the conversation with Harwyn began.

But, as history had revealed, building projects can easily extend beyond their expected timelines. So, Titilia – while remaining optimistic – knew her request for a swift turnaround might be a challenge.

 Inherently dynamic: The dream spaces for Gilson College

Ultimately, Titilia wanted flexible, multi-purpose spaces that could shift to accommodate Gilson College’s needs. This led Titilia to settle on one larger classroom and three smaller ones.

“Our vision is to use the smaller spaces as music rooms – which is ideal since they have controlled acoustics and great line of sight, with windows and glass on all sides – and then, turn them into staff offices when we have a large building project on,” says Titilia.

“The spaces had to be versatile,” she emphasises.

“That’s always the brief when you’re building for schools. While you’re catering to staff needs, you need to make sure that the students are taken care of – first and foremost.”

Sealing the deal: Harwyn’s quick turnaround time

Time was of the essence for Gilson College. So, when Titilia found out how quickly the new classrooms could be installed, she was sold.

Harwyn’s promised turnaround time – a mere 14 weeks from the signing to installation – was the decision-maker for Titilia. It was also the part that surprised her the most.

“When they told me the expected delivery time, I knew I wanted to work with them. But, at the same time, I was somewhat sceptical,” says Titilia.

“I’ve worked on building projects that have gotten out of hand, with variations and delays creeping in. But with Harwyn, they were spot on with their price and timeline.”

By Term 4, 2023, Gilson College had their new architecturally-designed spaces. And best yet, they were installed in only a few days.

Due to Harwyn’s speedy turnaround time and the spaces’ superior aesthetic, Titilia is already recommending Harwyn.

“I’ve mentioned them to our sister schools. For schools that are growing, this is a great way to go – because once they’re installed, you can relocate them to another part of campus. The classrooms are a great fit… and a great look,” says Titilia.

“It was a dream project,” Titilia affirms.

The word on the campus

It’s not just Titilia who’s been impressed by the classrooms.

“The staff absolutely love them,” she says.

“We’ve had staff members who are envious of those who work in there… the soundproofing is also a winner, which is why we’ve bookmarked them for music tutorials.”

With the landscaping now in place, the Harwyn spaces are looking like they’ve always been there.

A piece of advice? Talk, talk, talk

If there’s one word of wisdom Titilia has for other schools considering prefabricated spaces, it’s to start conversing – both with Harwyn and with other schools.

“Working with the Harwyn team made the project seamless. They were extremely knowledgeable about what’s required on the ground,” says Titilia.

“The Harwyn team were always two steps ahead to ensure the project progressed in a timely manner.”

For Titilia, hearing about other schools’ experiences was crucial.

“I’d say talk to them – or talk to other schools that went with Harwyn.”

Titilia stands by this advice so much that she’s following it herself.

“We’re already talking to Harwyn again… for another project! We’re considering a few more classrooms, which we’re really excited about.”


 Searching for high-end school spaces that can be delivered in weeks? Call 1300 HARWYN (1300 427 996) or enquire now.