Lorien Novalis School
Lorien Novalis is a single stream primary and secondary school, based on the educational philosophy of Rudolf Steiner. The High School building employs an artistic language of organic form and colour as a complement to the teaching pedagogy, which allows the child’s higher values and sensibilities to unfold.
Baxter & Jacobson Architects
456 Old Northern Road, Dural NSW 2158
$ 3.2 Million
Lorien Novalis is a single stream primary and secondary school, with 320 students from preschool to Year 12, based on the educational philosophy of Rudolf Steiner. The building includes science, computer and general learning rooms, a library and small hall. The spaces are linked by a curved screened stair and walkways over 3 levels offering views across the school. The brief required utilitarian spaces to be artistically conceived and expressed so as to provide a medium through which the child’s higher values and sensibilities can unfold. Thus the building as a whole has an emphasis on organic movement, gesture, colour and texture. The quality of the space within each room seeks to support its function. The pentagonal hall was designed specifically for the purposes of teaching eurythmy, a form of movement, which brings to dramatic expression the inner nature of music and words. It is a quintessential meeting of Steiner’s philosophy applied to educational architecture. Walls tilt back to create an uplifting quality and transparent colour washes (a Steiner technique) were applied to the eurythmy, computer and maths rooms by an artisan, bringing movement and depth to walls. The library is light-filled, spacious but contained, and painted with a turquoise blue to support clear thinking. The computer and maths room seating encircles the teaching screen. Science comprises a traditional lab with tiered tutorial space and preparation room which doubles for small tutorials. Sustainable design features include high thermal mass, screened windows, natural light, high insulation levels, self venting roof voids and night air flushing controlled by time and thermal sensors to control temperatures. Formwork ply and framing was reused in the wall and floor framing. Construction was organised by project management with a highly skilled workforce, many of whom were former students, parents or teachers. The quality of workmanship resulting from this is evident and the artistic contribution of the tradesincluded hand crafted desks, outdoor seating benches, an integrated fan & ceiling rose to the Eurythmy room and innovative balustrade design and fabrication. Timber was sourced from the building site, cut into slabs and air and kiln dried.