O'Neill Building Nudgee College

Dawson, Peter, Wright, Natalie, & Twarowski, Monica (2008) O'Neill Building Nudgee College. [Design/Architectural Work]

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This project involved the complete refurbishment and extension of a 1980’s two-storey domestic brick building, previously used as a Boarding House (Class 3), into Middle School facilities (Class 9b) on a heritage listed site at Nudgee College secondary school, Brisbane. The building now accommodates 12 technologically advanced classrooms, computer lab and learning support rooms, tuckshop, art room, mini library/reading/stage area, dedicated work areas for science and large projects with access to water on both floors, staff facilities and an undercover play area suitable for assemblies and presentations.

The project was based on a Reggio Emilia approach, in which the organisation of the physical environment is referred to as the child’s third teacher, creating opportunities for complex, varied, sustained and changing relationships between people and ideas. Classrooms open to a communal centre piazza and are integrated with the rest of the school and the school with the surrounding community.

In order to achieve this linkage of the building with the overall masterplan of the site, a key strategy of the internal planning was to orientate teaching areas around a well defined active circulation space that breaks out of the building form to legibly define the new access points to the building and connect up to the pathway network of the campus. The width of the building allowed for classrooms and a generous corridor that has become ‘breakout’ teaching areas for art, IT, and small group activities. Large sliding glass walls allow teachers to maintain supervision of students across all areas and allow maximum light penetration through small domestic window openings into the deep and low-height spaces.

The building was also designed with an effort to uphold cultural characteristics from the Edmund Rice Education Charter (2004). Coherent planning is accompanied by a quality fit-out, creating a vibrant and memorable environment in which to deliver the upper primary curriculum. Consistent with the Reggio Emilia approach, materials, expressive of the school’s colours, are used in a contemporary, adventurous manner to create panels of colour useful for massing and defining the ‘breakout’ teaching areas and paths of travel, and storage elements are detailed and arranged to draw attention to their aesthetic features.

Modifications were difficult due to the random placement of load bearing walls, minimum ceiling heights, the general standard of finishes and new fire and energy requirements, however the reuse of this building was assessed to be up to 30% cheaper than an equivalent new building, The fit out integrates information technology and services at a level not usually found in primary school facilities. This has been achieved within the existing building fabric through thoughtful detailing and co-ordination with allied disciplines.

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80 since deposited on 14 Dec 2011
10 in the past twelve months

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ID Code: 47751
Item Type: Creative Work (Design/Architectural Work)
Refereed: No
Keywords: Interior Design, Built Work, Architecture, Learning Environment, Primary School
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > ARCHITECTURE (120100) > Architectural Design (120101)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > ARCHITECTURE (120100) > Interior Design (120106)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Past > Schools > School of Design
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2008 The Authors
Deposited On: 14 Dec 2011 22:32
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 14:37

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