Ivanhoe Grammar School

Ivanhoe Grammar School

Concept

Our brief was for a new Science and Senior Years Centre. The key characteristics of the learning spaces were transparency, the variety of spatial type, multiple-use, flexibility, adaptability, and interconnectivity between the learning spaces and to the outside environment.

The circular shaped plan form was adopted for the building; this shape had an appropriate civic quality which built upon the schools original masterplan. However, rather than adopting a circular or radial pattern we choose to overlay an angular geometry. This geometry was used to define the central courtyards, the light wells and a mosaic of learning spaces. This geometry contrasts with the buildings circular shape, highlighting key entry points and providing a distinction between the outer world (singular, civic, circular, executed in a muted landscape palate) and the inner world (complex, dynamic, expressive & colourful).

The contrast so evident in this building’s language encapsulates the contemporary methodologies for a well-rounded education. The circular form is classical, representing order, and the certainty of knowledge – the building’s inner world, with its expressive and complex mosaic of spaces, represents the uncertainty and complexity of modern life and scientific understanding, and the necessity of the qualities of wonder and imagination to see us through.

Completed
December 2015
Location
Bridge Inn Road, Doreen

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Awards

WAN Colour in Architecture Awards 2016

Winner

IDEA Awards – Public Spaces 2016

High Commendation

A4LE – New Building 2016

Commendation

Idea-Tops Awards 2016

Shortlisted

Premier’s Design Awards 2016

Shortlisted

Publications

ArchiLovers, 1 June 2016
ArchitectureLab, 28 March 2017
Architecture Australia, 3 March 2017
Arch20, 11 March 2017
ArchDaily, 9 April 2017
AECC Café, 18 April 2017
Australian Architects

Sustainability

The building is designed to blur the distinction between the inside and the outside environment. The learning spaces have been configured to generally maximize both light and shading through upper-level walkways. Large, easily operated sliding doors are included to encourage the staff to maintain connectivity between the inside and outside and reduce the reliance on conditioned air. Most spaces are configured so as to maximize the opportunities for cross ventilation to the learning areas. The exterior shell is shaded by vertical fins and the window size modified to respond to its immediate context and orientation. The external fabric of the building is heavily insulated. Materials chosen are robust and not reliant on regular maintenance regimes.

Colour

Many months were spent designing and elaborating a simple schema in this building. The angular geometry of the mosaic of interior learning spaces contrasts with the pure geometry of the circular plan, their vivid colours a counter to the muted landscape-inspired tones of the drum. At key entry points the drum is eroded to reveal, reflect, and celebrate the wonders of science and learning.

The circular shaped plan form adopted for the building had an appropriate civic quality which built upon the schools original masterplan. However, rather than adopting a circular or radial pattern we choose to overlay an angular geometry. This geometry was used to define the central courtyards, the light wells and a mosaic of learning spaces. This geometry contrasts with the buildings circular shape, highlighting key entry points and providing a distinction between the outer world (singular, civic, circular and executed in a muted landscape palate) and the inner world (complex, dynamic, expressive and colourful). The idea of the Thunder Egg came to mind; in the Thunder Egg the innocuous shell belies the complex and colourful wonder of its inner core.

The key characteristics of the learning spaces were transparency, variety of spatial type, multiple-use, flexibility, adaptability and interconnectivity between the learning spaces and to the outside environment. The contrast so evident in this building’s language encapsulates the contemporary methodologies for a well-rounded education. The circular form is classical, representing order, and the certainty of knowledge – the building’s inner world, with its expressive and complex mosaic of spaces, represents the uncertainty and complexity of modern life and scientific understanding, and the necessity of the qualities of wonder and imagination to advance and see us through. Reference to Kaleidoscopes seemed appropriate, where a view ‘into’ reveals seemingly infinite combinations of colour and pattern.