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Architects Design School Focused On Sustainability And Fostering Community

Baldivis Secondary School Stage2, Photo by Peter Bennetts

Project Name: Baldivis Secondary College
Project Location: Baldivis WA, Australia
Alucobond Materials: Alucobond® Spectra Cupral, Spectra Antique, Desert Gold, Black 326, Anthrazit Grey
Architect: JCY Architects and Urban Designers
Photography: Peter Bennetts and Rob Ramsay (see caption for details)

The architects at JCY Architects and Urban Designers designed the Baldivis Secondary School as a “Learning Workshop,” a centralized learning hub that sits under a warehouse style roof.

Baldivis Secondary School Stage2, Photo by Peter Bennetts
Photo by Peter Bennetts

Located just south of Perth, this area is fast growing with architectural projects that foster “young and recently arrived migrant and local families,” in this working district, historically renowned for its gardening and industrial heritage, according to the architects at JCY. The school, accommodating 1450 students, through middle to high school, has become a stunning example for the community of the ability to stimulate young minds with exemplary design.

The team at JCY further state, “…the school has already achieved record enrollments and has become a loved and respected part of the community as well as a vibrant and exceptional school, led by a Principal and staff who are nothing less than inspirational.”

Baldivis Secondary School Stage2, Photo by Peter Bennetts
Photo by Peter Bennetts

The core principles of the school’s design were community and sustainability, and within these principles the designers sought to “re-imagine the archetypical Australian industrial shed.”

The center of the roofing system, supported by a series of truss framed structural bays that run east-west, is the school’s cafeteria in what the architects call the “warehouse’s heart.” The roof above the cafeteria also uses a pedestrian bridge, allowing students and staff to access the campus’ other buildings. Positioned on either side of the warehouse structure are the school’s gynasium and its Performing Arts Center. The remaining portions of the structure, running north-south feature the library, classrooms, and laboratories.

Baldivis Secondary School Stage2, Photo by Peter Bennetts
Photo by Peter Bennetts

The architects explain their learning warehouse as wanting too, “…use the undercover area allocation of the standard Department of Education’s brief in a manner which creates a ‘place’ of exceptional school civic value rather than simply being distributed around each building element as a series of ‘verandahs.’”

Additionally, the architects had a mass planting of trees, that when matured, will allow the warehouse to been engulfed in “an indigenous forest setting.”

Baldivis Secondary School Stage2, Photo by Rob Ramsay
Photo by Rob Ramsay

Further exposing their industrial roots, the architects chose a mixture of metal and concrete materials, seen in the production of industrial factories. The building utilizes aluminum chequer plate, precast concrete panels, steel and aluminum composite cladding. The Alucobond Spectra Cupral, Spectra Antique, Desert Gold, Black 326, and Anthrazit Grey aluminum composite panels form an interesting geometry on a bookend of the structure.

Baldivis Secondary School Stage2, Photo by Rob Ramsay
Photo by Rob Ramsay

The charcoal, orange, silver, red yellow colors are seen throughout the project, not only in the ACM colors chosen, but also in the painted aluminum plates both internally and externally.
According to the architects, the project received a 4-star Green Star project rating from the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) for its initiatives in “…water harvesting, wind turbines, sustainable construction and was designed with advice from parents, community and the feeder schools.”

The project has received international recognition as the winner of the AIA Architecture Award, Sustainability Award and CEFPI Australasian Education Facility Design Awards, and was chosen as a finalist in the World Architecture Festival in 2015.

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