Brighton Secondary College has sought to deliver the highest standards of modern learning environments since 1955, and its new learning facility named the ‘da Vinci’ centre heralds the first stage of the entire campus redevelopment, delivering twenty-first century teaching and learning.
Led by award winning design and architecture practise, Hayball Architecture, the $5 million science, arts, technology and general learning facility was part of a staged program of dramatic changes to existing buildings needing refurbishment, and new developments following government grants in 2010. Purpose-built for students in years seven and eight, the new learning environments include a focus on transition, growing student autonomy and self direction.
The ground level houses science laboratories connect to the schools refurbished technology and design centre, creating a multidisciplinary centre of excellence and resources for students. The second level centre includes four ultra modern science labs that open to external learning spaces, and indoor breakout study nooks with an upper level dedicated to learning and study areas for senior students. The camera box design penetrates the north façade providing an external activated area that is protected from the elements. James Hardie’s ExoTecTM cladding in primary colours make a striking contribution to the outdoor learning area and supported the overall design intent.
The site’s north-south orientation meant the original classrooms had been exhaustingly hot. Hayball overcame this aspect by using deeply recessed windows with performance glazing and angled external fins, while the use of ExoTec allowed calculated articulation of the buildings form to play with the shadows to keep the hot sun out, without sacrificing light and views.
The modulation of panels and critical datum points of the ExoTec product allowed the design to be carried out both internally and externally, while acute angles contrast the obtuse linear panelling to create an external outdoor learning space.
“ExoTec is a fantastic product that is adaptable, durable and cost effective. It’s an easy product to install whilst maintaining a high standard of finish.”- Paris Murphy, Senior Associate Hayball.
Designed to encourage autonomy and self-facilitated learning, the project was welcomed by students, parents, teachers particularly Principal Julie Podbury, who had been campaigning for government grants to redevelop the site since her appointment in 1996.
Hardie® fibre cement products are fire resistant, and suitable for use in applications where non-combustible materials are required in accordance with Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions C1.9 (e) of the NCC, Building Code of Australia Volume One Amendment 1.