Santa Maria College – Consilii Centre
Santa Maria College, Moreing Road, Attadale
A new four storey Science and Humanities Building in an existing Year 5 – 12 campus, the Consilii Centre creates a new benchmark for science learning spaces within secondary education. A mix of theory and experiment-based spaces allow a range of activities and cross-collaboration both between classes and between faculties.
The new Science and Humanities building at Santa Maria College incorporates innovative spaces for new modes of learning. The building sits on campus between three existing multi-level buildings, two of which have been recently refurbished. Tying into the existing Mercy Building lent challenges of servicing, access and floor heights. The site restrictions are quite tight spatially and so the building is curved and angled to suit. The external façade materials reflect the existing building materials to create a cohesive college feel amongst buildings built over an eighty-year period.
The accommodation of the new four-storey building includes changerooms, undercover parking, six humanities classes, a small amphitheatre, three science studios, one shared science laboratory, prep and staff space and six specialist science laboratories. All the laboratories are designed as specialist spaces, whereby each of the dedicated Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Human Biology laboratories feature unique elements specific to their learning area, such as access to a greenhouse and open balcony for the Biology laboratory, or black-out capability and long table lengths for the Physics laboratory.
The planning process for the new building involved an extensive amount of collaboration between the future users of the space and the architects. Exploring current modes of science investigation and learning brought about a change from fully serviced classes to a mix of serviced, non-serviced and specialised rooms. Numerous collaborative spaces, including the ‘Super Lab’, the Plaza and the Forum, allow for multiple classes to learn together, or small groups to engage in peer-to-peer or breakout learning activities.
The building features a large quantity of internal glazing to bring the magnificent Swan River and Perth Hills views into the classrooms on the south, and allows surveillance of classrooms from corridors and other spaces. Additionally, large glass display walls showcase science and its impact throughout the centre, so that the learning of science is always visible and exciting.