A BENDIGO architecture firm has won an international award for its design of Marist College Bendigo.
Y2 Architecture, which also has an office in Melbourne, took out the Association for Learning Environments' James D. MacConnell Award this week.
The award recognises the outstanding planning processes that go into creating educational facilities around the world.
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Y2 Architecture director Matthew Dwyer said the firm was very honoured to be recognised.
"It hasn't fully sunk in yet," he said. "But being selected out of 30 international projects from across the globe is very special. We came up against some really significant projects so we're very honoured."
Only two Australian schools have previously won the international award. The other two 2020 finalists were projects from Washington and Oklahoma in the United States.
The Marist College Bendigo project was a collaboration between the architects, educators, builders, and students.
Mr Dwyer said they took inspiration from rural France, where the Marist Brothers' schools started, along with the Dja Dja Wurrung landscape and culture.
Y2 Architecture also had a real focus on designing spaces that would work with the age of the student, so more playful elements in the junior areas, while the senior spaces had more of a university-type feel.
Mr Dwyer said the process had been very rewarding.
"Everyone was thinking holistically together, which brought the best results," he said.
Marist College Bendigo principal Darren McGregor said the award was exciting.
"This has been eight years of work," he said. "I still remember the day Matt Dwyer and I sat down and discussed our dreams. It's one thing to have dreams about a new learning environment.
"But to spend eight years working closely with an architect and designing it and building it, and then for an international award to say, hey this is world class, is really pleasing."
Mr Dwyer said the James D. MacConnell Award could open opportunities for the Bendigo architecture firm.
"It's a recognised award internationally," he said. "It puts us into a small group of international players who can say they have achieved this award.
"There will be some great opportunities that will come our way."
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