The Future of Modular Design


Architecture Australia Magazine’s article titled ‘Modular School Design: When 1+1 equals more than 2’, highlights the importance of Australia moving toward school infrastructure with high quality prefabricated, relocatable learning environments.

As illustrated by AA, Australia’s suitability for understanding and implementing modular infrastructure is unquestionable. The modules are useful for “changing demographics, remote communities and disasters”, which are understandably key levers for creating innovative infrastructure in Australia.

The Future Proofing Schools (FPS), and Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Project undertaken by the Melbourne School of Design realised a competition to gather the insights and ideas of some of Australia’s brightest and most ingenious Architects in creating these relocatable learning environments. Prize winner in the competition, NBRS+PARTNERS have translated this idea into a completed project using prefabricated expertise for the Duffy Primary School Learning Centre in the ACT.

The competition enabled a multidisciplinary industry group to instigate Australia’s first peak body for innovation in the prefabrication industry and has challenged the idea of prefabrication as second-rate construction, with NBRS identified as leading the collaborative group in setting a standard for modular infrastructure in Australia.

NBRS is an integrative firm, who lead in educational and institutional infrastructure. Following the Duffy Primary School project, NBRS has developed the modular, prefabricated innovative approach through the design of the DEC Cairnsfoot Special Needs School and a prototype design for regional NSW Police Stations. The Cairnsfoot School will commence fabrication in the first half of 2015.


NBRS+PARTNERS is a people focused, research based studio that aims to enrich lives. By developing creative design partnerships our portfolio spanning public and private sectors exhibit an understanding of the people whose lives will be affected. Above all NBRS seeks to design environments that will have positive life changing affect. Architecture is the cornerstone of NBRS+PARTNERS global interdisciplinary design practice with expertise in Architecture, Heritage, Interiors, Urban Planning, Landscape Architecture, ESD and Research. Since 1968, NBRS has developed a research led international architecture practice based in Sydney Australia. NBRS is recognised for its innovative, award-winning design excellence and comprehensive expertise. Our design-minded, 50 strong team’s unique focus on creative partnerships helps to realise solutions, with extraordinary results.

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