Oxford Falls Grammar School is sited on former farmlands in northeast Sydney. The school has transformed a former irrigation channel that divides the site diagonally into a heavily vegetated creek and landscape corridor. This initiative has substantially re-made the character of the campus, created a focus for the school community and formed a new organisational figure for the school’s expansion. The existing buildings are linked with a network of multi-level walkways and platforms that provide student circulation and social spaces throughout the campus. These walkways extend along and span over the creek to link the dense cluster of school buildings on the east with the playing fields on the west.
Bennett and Trimble worked with Grimshaw to develop a proposal for a new Homebase building to accommodate students from a single year within 8 teaching studios and an independent learning centre. These spaces are organised as a flexible framework with a series of reconfigurable spaces that support multiple teaching and learning modes form large presentations and master classes, to smaller workshops, research groups and individual learning. These spaces are planned over two levels within a modular steel frame that spans over an existing school carpark. A lift and amenities core are attached to the north of the building.
Our proposal adopts the existing elevated network of walkways to inform the circulation system, learning environments and architectural expression of the new building. The existing walkways are extended along the creek and attached to the modular steel frame creating a multi-level verandah for the new teaching studios. This verandah provides a series of informal outdoor learning environments and social spaces with views over the creek. The width and alignment of these outdoor spaces have been adjusted to create a range of spaces with different scales, characters and aspect.
Limited design competition with Grimshaw. Completed 2017