CGGS SCIENCE CENTRE
The CGGS Science Centre is an inspiring space in which to gather, collaborate and explore. The three storey building provides multi-disciplinary laboratories, class and common rooms, staff facilities, support and meeting spaces arranged around central exhibition areas. Mezzanine balconies and voids overlook the spaces below and ply-framed display windows connect the laboratories to the common spaces, creating a visual interaction between spaces. The multi-disciplinary labs are designed for interactive and individual learning. Innovatively shaped lab benches were developed closely with the school to maximise working space, improve classroom sightlines and ensure students could work in various sized groups. The interior materials have been selected to bypass trends and withstand hard use. Neutral and robust finishes such as charcoal resilient flooring, white powder coated steel, plywood and chemically resistant laminates have been used to achieve this. Against this restrained backdrop, large blocks of colour and bright furniture playfully reinforce the youthful energy of the building, while layers of texture add contrast and interest. The building's whole-of-life approach to sustainability includes items such as low energy lighting and appliances, low flow water fittings along with low-VOC paints, FSC timbers, woollen fabrics and recyclable floorings.
CGGS SCIENCE CENTRE
CATEGORY: PUBLIC ARCHITECTURE
Based on the master plan prepared by Cox in 2007, the new Science Centre completes the suite of new buildings for CGGS (Canberra Girls Grammar School) designed to overcome the many pre-existing site problems. It forms the final building block which defines the new quadrangle ‘heart’ to the senior school. The three storey building, including multi-disciplinary laboratories, classrooms and staff facilities, provides an integrated accessible pedestrian system which progressively links the many levels and buildings across the campus. The Science Centre provides state-of-the-art science education facilities in light filled laboratories which are linked by broad communal circulation and gathering spaces designed to foster a genuine sense of shared purpose and achievements through exhibition and informal discourse. The visual connection, through two-way glazed display cases create visual links between labs and communal spaces while the grand north atrium provides for multi-class presentations as well as a student gathering space. A consistent collection of materials including brick, white steel and glazing continues the theme of the adjacent buildings to create a harmonious visual impact. Layered facade elements, including sun-shading, give the centre a distinctive presence to the Empire Circuit face of the school.
Architect/Practice: Cox Architecture
Practice Team: Graham Humphries (Project/Design Architect), Alexis Phillips (Documentation), Dave Murrell (Site Architectural Technician), Alex Purdon (Interior Designer), Stephanie Simko (Interior Designer)
Consultant Team: AWT Consulting Engineers (Structural Consultant), Northrop Engineers (Civil/Hydraulic Consultant), John Raineri & Associates (Electrical/Mechanical Consultant), Harris Hobbs (Landscape Consultant), WT Partnership (Cost Consultant)
Construction Team: Construction Control (Construction Manager)
Photographer: Ben Wrigley