The new Years 7 & 8 building at Thomas Carr College is designed to accommodate up to 500 students and provides a teaching environment for contemporary modalities of learning. This building includes 20 new flexible general learning areas, large breakout spaces, demonstration kitchen, science labs, teacher’s offices and student facilities.
The in-built flexibility allows for multiple learning approaches from small groups to whole year level gatherings. Large glass sliding doors allow for the individual learning areas to be opened to the adjoining common spaces with operable walls between class rooms allowing for adaptable large and small learning areas. An informal amphitheatre has been provided as a lecture space connecting to the science lab areas. Formal display areas and informal pinboard walls provide for the display of student work, completed and in progress. Carefully selected furniture facilitates these various settings for learning, allowing for individual, small and large student group collaborations to inspire creative exploration.
The architectural form expresses this fluidity in planning through continuous folding elements connecting the roof and walls. The building materiality draws from the neighbouring context with patterned brickwork and metal cladding. The language of the fold is continued internally through the patterning of shapes walls and floor finishes implying different possibilities for creating space. Colour is also used in a playful way to demarcate space.
The building is planned to frame a north facing circular sun filled courtyard and common outdoor gathering space for the year 7-8 students, protected from the strong westerly and southerly weather. The ground floor learning areas extend through the common breakout space spilling out to the courtyard expanding the opportunities to learn outdoors.
The success of this new creative learning centre has come from a collaborative process of capturing and articulating the College’s aspiration and functional needs for its students and staff. The building is a dynamic and vibrant focal point on the campus, expressing and enabling the College’s pedagogical vision and proudly showcases a learning experience for the Thomas Carr community.