This new Year 7 Block at Lockyer District State High School addresses the specific needs of the youngest students at the school as they transition from primary to high school. It consists of 6 General Learning Areas, 2 specialised internal teaching spaces, an outdoor teaching area and staff facilities. It has been designed within the strict DETE briefing parameters provided.
Located in close proximity to an existing building that has also been converted for Year 7 usage, this building nestles into the site and has been oriented to create a discreet Year 7 play area slightly segregated from the remainder of the school. Through taking advantage of the slope, the building avoids the need for a lift (required in the original briefing) and links to the rest of the school with covered ramps and walkways. The rotation of the main walkway in relation to the lower level has allowed it to become a link down to the covered sports area from the central campus – an option that was previously lacking.
The southern covered spaces link to both levels with the main space doubling as both a learning and play area. The treatment of the roofs over the stairs references the roof of the other Year 7 building. The client required that the new building reflect the materials and colours used on the relatively new science block. These wishes have been met, with the addition of a bright green accent colour, for greater vibrancy. It is envisaged that as the main colour scheme is rolled out over the campus buildings, accent colours can vary from building to building. The laser cut random slot pattern of the green screens is repeated in acrylic inserts in the central block wall, and in the narrow, rectangular lights located randomly in the ceiling over the covered area.
The project tender came in significantly below the original budget. There was a substantial saving in current and future running costs through the omission of a lift.
The new building fully meets the stated brief requirements, including the need for the exclusion of sun during teaching times. Although air-conditioning is installed, it is set for heating only. It can be adjusted in future to allow for cooling, should DETE policy change. The inclusion of opening windows and high level louvres allows for effective natural cross ventilation. Generous window sizing has also allowed for a high level of natural lighting to occur. Rainwater is harvested from part of the roof.
Completed: Late 2014
Cost: $ 2,400,000
Location: Gatton, QLD
Project Team: Chris Gay, Michael Bowman, Liehan Van Rensburg, Elisha Clark Photography by Peter Denyer Photography