The design of the Ravens wood School for Girls Resources “Hub” is a result of a master planning process for the school designed around creating an attractive, imaginative and stimulating environment in which education is inevitable.
The Resources Hub is designed to be in scale with the existing school buildings and be seen as a modern insertion into a campus of varied buildings. Site accessibility due to level changes and difficulty of way finding has always been an issue for the school, along with the useability of external areas. The Resources Hub project is designed to address these issues.
A new main entry to Henry Street will aid site security; currently numerous entries do not allow ease of monitoring school visitors. The new entry courtyard at the heart of the proposal provides an external space for the school community, partially covered while providing maximum usability. Administration and the new Junior and Senior libraries address the courtyard along with the new cafe that links the courtyard to the oval.
The lower levels are designed to provide a solid base to the building, reminiscent of the masonry materials used in the upper campus. The upper levels are designed in steel with a translucent cladding and significant cantilevers which appear to hover over the base, providing weather protection and covered outdoor areas.
A large canopy roof floats over the buildings that front the oval, creating a new urban scaled verandah to the major public space of the school and allowing the building to be read from the Pacific Highway across the oval.
The building aims to bring together both passive and active design solutions to sustainability and allow the initiatives to be utilized in the education program for the girls. The building has been designed as a mixed mode building that is able to operate completely with natural ventilation. Conversely, on extreme weather condition days, the space can be air conditioned. In order to achieve this, reduced areas of exposed glass facade to direct sunlight effectively reduces the building heat loadings.
The scheme provides much needed vertical and horizontal connectivity for the school. The proposal unifies both landscape and environmentally sustainable design principals. The facilities allow for best practice and ensure the school’s philosophy of flexibility and an individual approach to teaching and learning.
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