Claremont College Refurbishment
Commendation Category 4 – Renovation / Modernisation / Under $2M
30 Coogee Bay Road, Randwick Sydney, NSW 2031 Australia
Sydney Anglican School Corporation
The Refurbishment of 30 Coogee Bay Road building, comprising of a new hall fitout, reconfiguration of classrooms for 110 students all within an existing building that was first constructed in 1910.
At its heart, the refurbishment of Claremont College’s 30 Coogee Bay Road building is about maximising the potential of forgotten spaces. As a building fabric that began in 1910 that then grew with five additions starting in 1980 and completing in 2004, the potential of 30 Coogee Bay Road was untapped.
This began with an exercise of revealing the forgotten spaces consumed by poor circulation and the old cellular teaching techniques by understanding that each space and volume had teaching and therefore learning potential. The classrooms were transformed from stuffy cellular boxes to light, bright and airy flexible spaces; the selection of the ‘right’ white was important to maximise the effectiveness of southern light and diffuse top light. The idea of the redundant hallway circulation space was reconceived as a connector of learning spaces – both in plan and section. The forgotten attic space was opened up to allow for the following key elements to be revealed; passive sustainable features through increase natural light penetration and ventilation across classrooms and up through the buildings three levels; creating a sense of wonder through volume; understanding that an active mind is an engaged mind.
The opening up of the volume of the building provided a unique opportunity to connect all spaces through the use of colour and firmly place the branding of the school in unison with its built environment. The section of the greens to the vaulted spaces was carefully considered in relation to drawing the lower heritage fabric of the building up into the new classroom level and aligning the schools colours with their built surroundings. Again the selection of the ‘right’ white throughout the scheme was considered with an understanding of the intensity of reflected light gained by the strong green element in the space. Throughout the day the spaces change in response to the amount of reflected light available. During the day a fresh clean feeling is experienced, which is important for a child’s learning capacity, with the evening bringing on a more lustrous effect as the artificial lighting takes over.