Following on from the 2015 College Master Plan, the new Science and Technology building for Whitefriars College is nearing completion.
The new three-level building brings together the disciplines of Science and Technology in a new facility.
The building incorporates Science Labs, Materials Technology spaces and introduces Food Technology to the College for the first time. A 200 seat lecture theatre and new functions space is included.
New learning spaces open to each other and create potential for different ways of teaching learning.
WRA were appointed to refurbish the Siena College West Wing Building, after completing the campus master plan (2012)and West wing feasibility study (2017). Refurbishment of the Agora has created a vibrant and inviting space for students to congregate. The space lends itself to a range of functions from casual congregation to teaching and presentations. The space employs a vibrant, fun colour palette and provides a range of seating a gathering spaces. Bespoke music and drama spaces were created through extensive redevelopment to the west wing building, with the use of a lot of timber for warmth with accents of red in the flooring reminiscent of the school colours. Music spaces include customised ensemble and tutorial rooms, instrument and music storage and staff offices. Drama spaces use theatrical curtains to create “stage”, “backstage” and “crossover” spaces and enable full blackout.
The 1930’s Convent and Chapel has been restored and extended to house the main college administration and new college gathering space, reinstating it as a building of daily importance.
The restored Convent comprises staff administration, visitor and student reception, along with staff social and work spaces. The extension has created a new social heart for the College, supporting the existing Chapel and providing a venue for events. A canteen and café to the rear of the gathering space opens out to the newly landscaped Aussie gardens and can be used by students and parents throughout the day.
The use of red toning with white detail creates a connection to existing materials on the campus.
The 1970’s “Currajeen” convent has been refurbished and extended to include an improved year 12 student hub, new classrooms, meeting rooms and outdoor congregation spaces.
The building was extended along the south edge creating a new facade and main entry. The new facade opens learning areas to external spaces by means of outdoor terracing and seating. Year 12 facilities were improved to provide bespoke learning and quiet study spaces as well as social spaces and kitchen facilities.
The St James College Visual and Performing Arts Centre brings together art, music, drama and a new food technology stream. The building was designed with the engagement of the College and local communities in mind.
At the centre of the building is a 140 retractable seat ‘black box’ Studio Theatre with an operable wall to divide the theatre into two learning spaces. The music and drama spaces support the Theatre when in event mode and the adjacent Food Technology space provides the opportunity for students to participate in future hospitality events.
The new outdoor events space at the front of the College successfully bridges between old and new facilities and provides the college with a formal ceremonial space.
After completing the Narre Warren South campus master plan in 2013, Stage 1 of the Junior School is the second major facility completed at this campus by WRA.
Facility design centres around large open learning spaces on each level. All learning areas open out to these spaces, and then connect to each other via large, glazed sliding doors. Downstairs the open learning space has carpeted tiered seating for a class and lockers. Upstairs, the larger of the two open learning areas also has a kitchen and wet project area for students. This space is large enough for parent information nights and whole Junior School meetings. The highlight glazing provides ample natural light into the open learning area.
The new two-storey Junior School has been designed to be constructed in two stages to meet the growth of student numbers anticipated at the recently opened Narre Warren South campus Stage 2 is anticipated to commence construction at the end of 2018.
This new gymnasium and auditorium at Waverley Christian College Narre Warren brings together the often incompatible functions of sports and theatre into one facility. The facility comprises a sports court and fitness centre in addition to a raised stage, backstage dressing rooms and retractable seating bank, and a large foyer with kitchen facilities.
The single court sports hall has been ‘dressed’ and treated with acoustic internal linings to create an ambient auditorium which can cater for audiences up to 900 people. The 600 seat retractable seating bank can also track forward to create an intimate theatre experience.
The building functions exceptionally well due to detailed design resolution and attention to acoustic performance. The acoustic operable wall between the raised stage and auditorium allows both spaces to be used concurrently with no noise intrusion.
The University of Melbourne engaged WRA to undertake a Concept Study in 2014 to investigate the opportunities for upgrade and expansion of facilities in the existing Theatres Building - B879. This work was commissioned after WRAs’ 2012 Needs Analysis of the School of Art, School of Performing Arts and MusicalTheatre at the Southbank campus.
The Concept Study identified three stages of works to increase effective use of the building, its allowable occupancy and to accommodate additional performing arts programs. The Stage One Upgrade was implemented in 2014, with the Stage Two Upgrade being completed this year.
Stage Two Upgrade included:
- Technical theatre and acoustic upgrades to the main performance and rehearsal spaces
- New Costume Studios
- Meeting spaces and offices
- Foyer and amenities upgrades
- Services upgrades
The recently completed St Catherine's Student Centre at Siena College brings together a range of student resources into a new 3-storey facility.
Designed around the 3-storey main circulation stair, the building aligns the foyers and open learning spaces on each level with views back into the heart of the campus, and into the tree canopy on Hocknell Road. Facilities include a new Student Reception and Administration, 200-retractable seat Multi-Function Centre, new learning spaces, Year 12 social and study spaces and refurbished Resource Centre and Art / Textiles spaces with new Gallery.
The new Visual and Performing Arts Centre involved a full refurbishment of the iconic modernist building, originally designed by nenowned Melbourne architect Frederick Romberg (of Grounds Romberg and Boyd).
Over the past 60 years the building underwent numerous renovations including enclosing the central courtyard. Many original features were covered over.
This project provided the opportunity to reinstate and restore elements of the original modernist style, while creating a new and vibrant performing and visual arts centre. The project included reinstating the original foyer and hall spaces; a new flexible square format performance space for dance and drama; multipurpose undercroft space opening up to the courtyard as a student space and doubling as a green room; music tuition spaces; large arts studios and staff spaces.
Photography: John Gollings
The Frank Fenner Building at ANU received 6 Star GreenStar Accreditation – Office Design and Office As-built v3 Tools. The building brings together staff dispersed around the Australian National University, creating a new home for both the Fenner School of Environment and Society and Climate Change Institute.
The 1,600m2, three-storey building comprises foyer and seminar rooms, administration and leadership team rooms, academic team environments – academics and post-graduates, outdoor teaching settings and a wetland. All aspects of the building integrate environmentally sustainable design principles with detailed analysis and reporting contributing to the successful 6 Star submissions.
Sustainable design features include; extensive photo-voltaic array, solar hot water heating, high insulation envelope, rainwater harvesting, greywater and blackwater treatment, high recycled material content, chilled beam heating/cooling, cement replacement to concrete; extensive recycled steel, timber and brickwork; extensive thermal, daylight and energy modelling.
The Sister Una McAllister Centre serves the College community both as the Chapel and recital centre, and as a place for the practice and performance of music. The building’s lightweight steel structure perches on a steep embankment with views out across the landscape to Diamond Creek. Exposed aggregate concrete block grounds the building, with the upper floor kept light with glass and aluminium cladding. Timber lining boards provide warmth to the enveloping entry and foyer.
The building comprises the multi-purpose foyer / function room, double height chapel and recital space, with sculptures by Pauline Clayton and glass installations by Janusz and Magda Kuzbicki, Sacristy, two music classrooms, six music tutorial rooms, staff room and landscaping by Rush Wright.
Refurbishment of the existing Food Technology and Science areas created lighter, brighter learning spaces. New technology increased capacity to deliver a wider range of activities.
The new colour scheme was designed to brighten the spaces and create a more engaging atmosphere for students. The Food Technology facility upgrade included the existing Food Technology learning space, addition of a demonstration bench to the Food Technology Theory room and creating a more open, central Prep Space at the entry. The Science facility upgrade included the refurbishment of 2 existing labs with new acoustic ceilings and lighting, and access to outdoor spaces.
Photography: Peter Hyatt
We prepared an extensive Master Plan for the College in 2003 and were engaged to implement Stage One, completed in 2006. This involved new infill buildings and substantial refurbishment within the existing college campus, requiring several stages of construction to keep the 800 student College in operation.
Facilities included general purpose learning areas, IT classrooms, new lift access to deal with the varying building levels and a sensitive expansion to the existing Convent to provide a whole school staff study with adjacent lounge, conference space and meeting rooms.
After another master plan update in 2012, we excited to be completing the new St Catherine’s Student Centre for the College due to open in August 2015.
This facility presented Council with the opportunity to develop a new integrated service delivery model in the Early Years sector. We worked with the Centre for Community Child Health from the Murdoch Institute who managed an extensive change management process, including the development of a detailed Design Brief and Concept Design for the new centre, in consultation with staff, committee members and community representatives.
Childcare, preschool and toy library operations were combined with Council’s family day care services, maternal and child health service, and a variety of para-professionals.
‘We’re seeing some quite remarkable things coming out of the Year 5-6 Centre. We are definitely getting new learning outcomes.’ – Paul Turner, Principal, Woodleigh School
The Year 5 and 6 Centre was designed to provide an education setting for team teaching to support the school’s developing pedagogy. Three classrooms interlink with a student commons providing breakout and group project space. The project was designed to the 5 Star Education Tool. Smart integrated building systems alert staff and students as to when they can naturally ventilate the learning spaces to minimise reliance on energy consuming mechanical systems.
Environmental and energy data is also collected and collated for analysis by the students. The project included design of the Library, science/art, ecology, performance and collaborative learning spaces. The structure uses extensive recycled and timber material content, integration with the natural landscape and natural light and operates a mixed mode passive and assisted ventilation system.
Educational facility master planning is one of our core services, and we are currently completing the following:
Merici College, Canberra
Arts Academy, Federation University Australia, Ballarat
And have recently completed master plans for:
Catholic Ladies College, Eltham, 2001, 2004, 2014
Waverley Christian College, Narre Warren & Wantirna Sth campuses, 2014
St. James College, Wast Bentleigh, 2013
St John's Regional College, Dandenong, 2012
Siena College, Camberwell, 2012
Our Lady of the Sacred Heart College, Bentleigh, 2012
Sacred Heart College, Oakleigh, 2008
Salesian College, Chadstone, 2007
Marymede Catholic College, South Morang