Home' Commercial : Commercial Building and Design 2013 Contents 254 SCOOP Commercial Building & Design 2013
ommissioned in 2010 to provide full
architectural and interior services for
the new Guildford Grammar Catalyst
Building, CHRISTOU developed a
contemporary addition for the heritage-listed
campus to accommodate the school’s new teaching
and learning model.
The client required an alternative learning
environment for their year 7 and 8 students, and
requested that the new structure be a physical
demonstration of the school’s ethos: “Go Forward”.
The building includes studio and laboratory
environments, staff and collegiate spaces, traditional
classrooms for senior students to replace the
aging facilities, and a new administration and
reception area that will impress parents, guests and
A traditional building materials’ palette – red
face brick, donnybrook limestone, standing seam
zinc and glass – presents in an non-traditional
manner, with the limestone used as cladding and
the zinc wrapping around the building as a type of
Reflecting the shift towards a contemporary
style of teaching and student interaction, the school
specified flexible teaching spaces, hard-wearing
interactive floor and wall surfaces, and flexible loose
furniture in a variety of shapes and sizes.
All classrooms are full of natural light, making
them appear both spacious and welcoming, with
the added sustainable benefit of minimising the
reliance on artificial light during the day. Other
sustainable attributes include night purging to
dissipate the build-up of heat during the day, and
rainwater collection and storage.
Heavily influenced by the physical and historical
qualities of the site, the design was driven by a
desire to intensify the urban fabric of the campus
while respecting the history of the grounds.
Significant challenges on the highly constrained
site included the two gas pipeline easements
and a major portion of the site being unsuitable
for construction due to the 100-year flood line.
However, the result stitches together the urban,
historic and natural environments seamlessly.
To accommodate the school’s new teaching and learning model, internationally renowned firm
CHRISTOU set about creating a modern addition to this heritage-listed educational institution.
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