St Patricks Environmental Centre & ITC Building
BDG’s centre provides new Environmental Science spaces connected to IT spaces within an existing residence. ESD spatial language establishes an ambience respectful to the educational environment, using large shaded windows, automatically operated roof lights, and minimalist finishes (plywood ceilings, honed concrete floors, chain downpipes, raw metal roofing, exposed aggregate paving).
Bradbury Dicker Group Architects
Commendation Category 4: Renovation/Modernisation Under $1 million
119 Drummond Street South Ballarat, VIC 3350 Australia
Noel Bradbury & Leigh Dicker
The schools brief required BDG to establish a facility which not only provided Environmental Sciences education to students but also interacted with their families and the broader community. In summary the projects brief required that the new facility should:
Establish an interesting and welcoming educational space for the Environmental Sciences; provide a space which clearly related its physical form to the Environmental Sciences; enable movement between indoor and outdoor teaching activities, providing classes for practical aspects of sustainable agriculture and low environmental impact living; provide for flexible programmes and uses; provide adjacent facilities for the teaching of IT skills, which would enable IT skills to be partnered with the recording and reporting of Environmental Science data gathered; and establish a transition zone between dirty practical work areas and the adjacent clean IT facility.
BDG’s design established the required design language by connecting new environmental sciences spaces directly to an existing red brick, Marseille tile roofed residence. The recycled use of an existing residence on the property provided urgently needed IT education spaces whilst simultaneously minimising construction waste and capital cost and established an ambience effectively connecting and relating clean IT and dirty ESD the teaching areas.
The schools evolving environmental science curriculum required flexibility. The centres bright, open space design combined with mobile furniture for use indoors or outdoors introduced scope for multipurpose uses including varying teaching functions as well as group and community meetings.
The ESD language of the space is further strengthened through use of minimalist finishes (clear finished plywood ceilings, honed sealed concrete floors, chain downpipes, raw metal roofing, and exposed aggregate paving). Effectively shaded large windows and high level automatically operated roof lights provide excellent natural ventilation and lighting without glare. These natural spaces with selective minimalist materials and colours establish an ambience respectful to the required educational environments.
Sustainability is demonstrated through: highly effective energy controls (back up heating systems are only occasionally required); use of captured stormwater; natural lighting; Illustration of water and power conservation via BMS controlled LCD screen display; and web access to LCD teaching tools, viewed by families and the community online 24/7.