A dual-purpose facility for a girls’ school in Brisbane has set an example for future proofed, flexible education design. The Cruci Building at Loreto College in Coorparoo, designed by ThomsonAdsett, opened in Term 4 last year as a new year-level facility which will eventually be expanded to form a performing arts theatre.

The building maximises the available campus area on a highly constrained rock face site and offers a variety of multipurpose spaces.

Designed to create inspirational and flexible spaces for teaching, learning and performance, Loreto College Principal, Cheryl Hamilton, said the new Cruci Building has been a great success.

“The learning spaces are in high demand. Both the teachers and the students love being there. The classrooms and the adjoining breakout areas provide an atmosphere for learning that invites genuine collaboration where collective thinking can easily be made visible.”

Writable surfaces and wireless technology are major design elements that enable student ‘thinking’ to be displayed, which together with moveable furniture, allows for easy change of layout.

A curved bronze screen and different sized breakout areas influence the form of the building, with standard verandas and bag racks making way to flexible learning and social outdoor spaces.

“The curved screen and waved seating provides learning and social spaces to which the students are instinctively drawn to gather. With its soft filtered light and gentle curves, the screen has a calm beauty about it which adds greatly to the pleasing aesthetics,” Ms Hamilton said.

ThomsonAdsett Group Director of Design and Education Communities, Graham Legerton, said the design of the screen defines the future vision of performing arts on the site.

He said: “The screen references a front of house curtain with a delicacy, serenity and form that has been sculpted to frame and create variable sized learning settings, whilst realising a memorable sense of arrival.”

Major components of the building that have been designed to serve future theatre functions include a large multipurpose ground level space, which will eventually act as a theatre foyer, and lift and kitchen which have been strategically planned to maximise agility and service operations and future intermissions respectively.

“Our team loved the creative and collaborative approach on this project. All parties shared the vision of creating something special and worked tirelessly to achieve it.

“The simplicity of the end result and joy that it is bringing to students, staff and the community is what architecture is all about,” Legerton said.