Client : Department of Education, Building Management and Works - Department of Finance
The planning for the new Science building is focused on creating a vibrant and modern science and engineering facility with voluminous internal spaces to allow a multitude of functional uses (from displays, to practical experiments, to cross-discipline education) with a high level of transparency to provide passive surveillance and security as well as a maximise the level of natural light and ventilation throughout the building.
The building is planned as a series of labs book-ending a multi-purpose science foyer around which are two multi-purpose lab spaces with operable walls to provide a multi-configurable series of educational spaces.
The Science Foyer acts appends to the existing Teaching Block staff room in a cruciform planning arrangement to link the staff study areas to the building, maintaining a visual connection but providing some segregation from the main teaching spaces. At the heart of the Science Foyer is the open planned Science Prep and Technician space, inverting the traditional model of the Technicians being seen but not heard, and making them and their work integral to the daily operation of the centre (for staff and students alike).
Further, the building takes every opportunity to look outward into the landscape, providing both visual (window) and physical (doors) access into the surrounding greenspace. The adjacent landscape will act as an external bio-diverse laboratory, with diverse annual landscapes dependent on climatic conditions, such as rainfall and precipitation impacting on the natural spaces.
The internal partitions for each of the labs will be glazed from 1150h up to 3000AFL to provide a high degree of visibility between each room and to assist in surveillance and security.
The Staff Studies has been located in a refurbishment of the existing building at the eastern end of Teaching Block 01, so staff are located both within the new building and also the existing teaching block at the same time and reinforcing a collegiate relationship between the new facility and the existing school.
Architecture & Materials
The material palette allows for more commercial construction techniques than those employed in the existing school, which is hard-wearing, robust and require minimal maintenance. Key materials include feature brickwork external masonry leaf in brick veneer, a multi-cell polycarbonate wall system, steel framed roof with colorbond metal-deck roof sheeting,
The interior is defined by the leitmotif of the molecular hexagon, a cue that as defined the landscape design, and appears internally as a subtle perforated pattern on the ceilings, and as a bold demarcation of colour across the vinyl floor to create smaller learning spaces within a voluminous multi-purpose Foyer and Maker Space. Similar perforation pattern continues throughout the plywood cladding in the tech/ science preparation area.
Integration of Public Art
Public Art plays an important role in the design of the identity of the new science facility. The artist will incorporate their artwork into the Western Wall adjacent the entry to the new Science Foyer adjacent Teaching Block 01. The Artist worked collaboratively with the project team to successfully integrate the artwork into the building works.