La Fourviere Centre, Assumption College
The La Fourviere Centre demonstrates an effective collaborative planning process to refine the project brief and vision.
Working with church, community and college representatives on issues including feasibility, function, technology, materials, finishes and design concepts, the design outcome aligns with the college’s pedagogical vision.
The architectural and cultural heritage significance of the original convent structure, the former Sisters of Mercy building and the cloisters was the starting point for the project. The design process included careful audit of the original buildings, judiciously removing extensions and exposing the structure, form and detail of cloisters and building. The outcome is a considered response that exploits the original fabric of the heritage building to great advantage. The design reinvents the original building, layering its arches, high ceilings, quality of light, space and materials, with a contemporary, flexible solution. The facility is now a centrepiece for the school, and a place where tradition and pride is overlaid with contemporary teaching and learning opportunities.
The dominant materials and finishes palette is neutral and based on the natural brickwork, stone, timber and render of the heritage buildings. Several feature colours are used selectively to highlight inserted elements, including the sculptural staircase, banquet seats and display boards. Feature colours are strong and distinctive, used purposefully against the neutral backdrop to subtly but definitively, separate old and new.
The considered and skilful reinvention of a heritage building is the cornerstone of sustainability. Good natural light, upgrades to energy efficient lighting and contemporary services, together with its inherent thermal quality, will all contribute to the building’s environmental performance.
The La Fourviere Centre is a true legacy project for Assumption College. The design melds old and new to achieve the ‘beautiful, light, warm and welcoming spaces’ sought by the school to inspire both teaching and learning.
Commendation: Category 3 Renovation/Modernisation Over $2m
Lumsden Street, Kilmore VIC 3764
Nic Granleese Architectural Photography
The development of the Fouviere Centre provides a specialised learning environment for young people in Years 11 and 12, who are growing in independence and personal responsibility. As students enter their final phase of secondary schooling, this centre is designed to facilitate responsible decision-making and preparation for the lessstructured world of tertiary study and the workplace.
The original convent structure, the former Sisters of Mercy Building and the cloisters have cultural heritage significance for their association with early development of the religious teaching orders in Australia. These buildings form the historic core of Assumption College and have been identified as being of historic and architectural significance to Kilmore region.
The design has carefully removed many of the 1980s extensions and exposed the original cloisters and heritage building, which formerly housed the College’s student boarding facilities. The facility is now a centre-piece for Learning at Assumption College with multiple teaching and learning opportunities within contemporary flexible environments.
This new contemporary learning is sympathetic to the heritage building it is contained within. The library/resource is true to the original brief of the creation of a smaller de-institutionalised library that provides multiple adjunct opportunities for contemporary learning not found with the learning studios. The strength of the original architecture, combined with the cloisters and the historical connections this building has to the College, firmly grounds the underlying principles of senior learning in a firm reverence of tradition and pride. As sophisticated and adult environment will provide the foundations and hunger for lifelong learning.
As part of this revitalisation the building was fully restored with new efficient mechanical and electrical systems and ICT infrastructure that create a comfortable and functional environment.