partitions can be taken down and repositioned swiftly and economically, should the school’s needs change over time. After holding workshops with the teachers and students early in the design process, the consensus was that the building must provide flexible learning spaces. This has been achieved through providing breakout spaces in the central corridor for smaller group study and discussion; large glass sliding doors that can extend the teaching space out into the corridor; smaller tutorial rooms for group discussions with visual connection back to the main classrooms; a selection of loose furniture to allow for flexible room layouts; operable walls to merge classrooms together for team teaching; and a mini lecture theatre to give senior students a space to present to a larger audience. Senior school class sizes are generally around 28 students but the nine classrooms can seat up to 32 without overcrowding.
The school’s school blazer inspired the strong colour theme through the building. Red, yellow and green are sprinkled through the brickwork, joinery, carpet and walls, tying the internal and external elements together. The architects, with the students and teachers, worked with graphic designers to create a ribbon of stories of inspirational people and past students through the corridors of the building. Referred to as ‘the building’s own graffiti’, this ribbon can be added to over time. In keeping with the school’s environmentally responsible stance, local materials have been used wherever possible. The slab has a 30 per cent fly ash content and has been sealed with a water based sealer where exposed, All joinery is E0 board (low formaldehyde) and all paints and adhesives used are low VOC. The building’s main façade is broken into three parts by recessed recycled timber cladding. The ground floor walls are glazed grey brick
enlivened by randomly inserted yellow, red and moss green bricks on either side of banks of students’ lockers. The second level extends 1.2 metres to shelter the lockers. Kingspan insulated wall and roofing panels, the wall panels finished in Mountain Blue, have been used for the roof and exterior cladding. This easily erected panelling system – craning and bolting the roof into place took just two days – is guaranteed for up to 25 years and has a life expectancy of 40 years. The interior surface of the roof panels is finished in bright white liner to form the ceiling of the rooms on the second level. The steel waffle formwork of the second level floor has been left exposed and unpainted as the ceiling finish for the ground floor, reducing the need for additional materials. There are no conventional ceilings; instead, cabling and other services are carried in cable trays that sit on top of suspended Queensland
Education Today – Term 4 2012