Best Practices in Educational Facilities Investments

All Hallows’ School, Mary Place, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Exemplary design categories: access, comfort, cost efficiency, cultural and historical value, energy efficiency, flexible learning settings, integrated services, outdoor spaces, school/community regeneration

How the facility meets the needs of education and communities:
The existing heritage school buildings have facades that respond to their hierarchal relationship.  The South flank that addressed the old School is ornate, the Western flank that addressed the convent is pared back and the Northern facade, the ‘back door’, is purely functional and pragmatic.  Mary Place sets up an overt dialogue within this heritage context whereby various heritage facade details are referenced and reinterpreted. The new envelope responds to each of its elevations with a rotational tectonic, as if part of each facade has been pulled around and connected to the next. Taking reference from the garden and building screens used in the past by the nuns to deal with privacy, security and shade, a number of new elements play with transparency to present mass, scale, texture or acuity. The street composition, is re-scaled from a five storey building into a two storey object floating over a two storey high planted screen. The western facade responds to the scale of the 1940 University Wing and composes an elevation of aluminium screening lightly suspended like the famous Queensland Thurlow Verandah Blind which references the adjacent 1892 Convent's heavily screened facade.  Where Mary Place engages directly with the ‘rear’ facade of the 1940 University Wing the view of the original facade is theatrically edited. Rather than reveal the whole of this mundane but important facade, the building instead frames only a fragment with a ‘proscenium arch’, placing it as a ‘backdrop’ to the daily play of student interaction in the Courtyard and the veranda galleries of Mary Place.  The arch’s head conceals the old roof whilst reflecting winter sun. The sheltered courtyard brings daylight deep into the plan and reinvigorates a previously neglected part of the School.

Involvement of users and the local community in the planning and design process:
One of the main challenges involved liaising with state heritage to allay concerns about maintaining the special significance of the listed site and buildings. The project team, including heritage architect Michael Kennedy, worked collaboratively with the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (DEHP) and used extensive 3d modelling to explain the project. Each face of the building has particular relationship with its surroundings and were developed to a high degree during the design phase, which gave DEHP confidence in the final result.

Activity Areas: Classrooms, breakout spaces, outdoor learning, heritage context

Project costs: AUD 10,600,000.00

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Images (10)

Drawings (6)

All Hallows School, Mary Place (Registration required)
application/pdf
Credit: Wilson Architects
Site Plan (Registration required)
application/pdf
Credit: Wilson Architects
Level 1 Floor Plan (Registration required)
application/pdf
Credit: Wilson Architects
Level 2 Floor Plan (Registration required)
application/pdf
Credit: Wilson Architects
Level 3 Floor Plan (Registration required)
application/pdf
Credit: Wilson Architects
Level 4 Floor Plan (Registration required)
application/pdf
Credit: Wilson Architects