Cruci – Loreto College
415 Cavendish Road Coorparoo Brisbane , Queensland 4151 Australia
Cruci is designed to embrace the soul of Loreto College, Mary Ward values, contemporary teaching/learning modalities and future-proofing. The curvaceous screen frames collaborative learning areas, with indoor and outdoor learning environments created either side of ‘thinking ‘ glass walls. Cruci has become an integral element of the school and wider community.
The team faced the challenge of accommodating educational needs of an additional 140 students due to the Government ‘s Year 7 mandate. The brief, developed through collaboration, required inspirational learning spaces students love to be in – places with soul that complement the overarching Mary Ward ethos of freedom, justice, sincerity, verity and felicity. A strategic master-planned design identified a need for future performing arts facilities in addition to the above intake. Extensive consultation was undertaken with parents, students, staff, the College executive, funding partners, music specialists and the broader community during the creative process.
Pre-design and return briefing was critical. The multi-functional approach enabled a solution beyond expectations. Listening, modeling, absorbing the site, understanding the schools culture and sketching with stakeholders informed the project ‘s vision. The concept of the ‘Cruci ‘ building emerged – a flexible learning classroom building with the clear intention to later metamorphose into a front-of-house for a 500 seat Performing Arts Theatre. A bold, contemporary, permeable screen surpassed the schools aspirations for collaborative spaces of variable scale whilst celebrating future theatricality. Different sized breakout areas generated the curvaceous form with standard verandas replaced by inspirational outdoor spaces for problem-based learning. The building offers varying degrees of formality and informality. Spaces are agile, sub-divisible and flexible.
The curved screen peels back to form an arch, welcoming users inside from the verandas ‘ dual aspect glass writable ‘thinking walls ‘ which capture, share and display learning. Wireless technology and mobile furnishings promote collaboration. This all supports variety in pedagogy. In terms of sustainability, providing half of the performing arts program within this initial built learning program realised major savings in area, cost and energy consumption, all reducing the carbon footprint.
A vision for Loreto College is to provide an environment that values reflection, silence and beauty. In every way Cruci fits this brief. The sacred space at its entrance, the flowing beauty of the curves, the quietness and the gentle colours of the rooms all confirm this vision.
Cruci prioritises people, learning, place, quality and future proofing. The outcome is true to the character, soul and pioneering leadership of the college.