The Sacred Heart Centre, Multi-purpose Learning Facility
The Sacred Heart Centre is the centrepiece on the Randwick Primary School site and is designed to be adaptable for everyday activities or special less frequent functions. The building connects with the existing school and transforms readily with little effort to facilitate any number of uses.
SARM Architects Pty Ltd
193 Avoca Street, Randwick 2031 New South Wales
Robert McNamara, Director, SARM Architects Pty Ltd
Inward Outward and SARM Architects
The new multi-purpose centre when opened to the covered area provides an area equivalent to a basketball court giving generous protected play space. There is a raised platform on one side of the court to allow for an addressing an assembly and this stage is of a size so that can be used independently as a general teaching space. Swinging wall hung partitions can be readily utilised to suit different modes of learning and provide flexible display surfaces to support the recognition of pupils’ achievement.
The base multi-purpose centre adapts quickly to allow any number of roles for the school (or Parish) only limited by management or timetabling clashes between functions. Some functions identified early in the sketch design stage included performance (ranging from intimate to large extended audiences), exhibition / display, examination (for a class or for a year group), formal learning for various numbers, informal / self teaching for collaboration sessions or dining for fund raising or information nights for parents staff or visitors.
Adjacent to the large “hall” space sufficient area is given to provide rooms that can be “hot classrooms” used as required with direct access to open flexible space that may be inside or outside. Below the hall are two GLAs with practical activity areas, this breeds daily life into the building ensuring usage every day of the week.
Considerable thought was given to the ambiance of the final space to ensure it was large enough to accommodate the required assembly of occupants but also to maintain the friendly low scale nature appropriate for a primary school, this was achieved by the utilisation of curtains, operable walls, varying ceiling heights and bi-folding doors.
The building has vast areas of windows to provide natural light and reduce the reliance on artificial light. Many of these windows are high level and operable to ensure natural cross ventilation. Extensive roof overhang serves as sun shading to protect the windows from harsh summer sun while still allowing low altitude beneficial winter sun to penetrate.