Penleigh and Essendon Grammar (PEGS) Middle Girls School, Keilor East, VIC , Australia
Exemplary design categories: comfort, community use and involvement, cost efficiency, energy efficiency, flexible learning settings, furniture, green school, integrated services, library/media/resource centre, outdoor spaces, safety, school/community regeneration, science laboratories, sporting facilities, technology richHow the facility meets the needs of education and communities:
The aim of this ambitious building program was to provide a rich and diverse campus environment with high quality teaching spaces designed to respond to the particular needs of its distinct student groups. In each of the ‘schools’ careful consideration was given to providing a relevant individual identity and unique architectural atmosphere. In particular these buildings are designed to harmonize with its immediate neighbour, the new Middle Boys School, so as to provide a rich urban ensemble at the main entrance to the school. The form is derived from a trace of the Mandelbrot Set. The Mandelbrot Set offers almost endless formal adaption; a metaphor writ large for the endless possibility of intellectual exploration and the human imagination. This formal strategy (like the representations of the Mandelbrot Set) results in an architectural form that changes in scale and intensity. It is a complex form that reveals and conceals views, contains and describes interior and exterior space. Double curved gateways, reminiscent of both Desbrowe Annear’s arts and crafts houses and Persian gateways, add definition and a poetic to campus. The Middle Girls School’s expression is the antithesis of the timid corporate image mystifyingly portrayed by so many public and private learning institutions. To achieve the project budget the new buildings use typical construction techniques. Value is provided by the careful consideration of the planning and perimeter walls. An intriguing spatial experience and architectural expression is established despite the normative construction approach.
Involvement of users and the local community in the planning and design process:
The Educators at PEGS are clear and straight forward about the types of core educational spaces they require. Large generous interconnected classrooms are the backbone of their repertoire of spaces. In this project the ‘Mandelbrot form’ wraps this straight forward and rational planning approach thereby adding spaces that are multi-use, collaborative and social, of a varying scale and with a rich spatial quality. Playful, bold colour and pattern are part of the design strategy throughout. Colour and pattern add interest, assist metaphors, help with way finding and enhance identity.
Activity Areas: Classrooms, multi-purpose spaces, library, administration, staff areas, cafeteria and sports facilities.
Project costs: EUR 0.00