Somerville House - Fewings Building | BSPN Architecture

Somerville House - Fewings Building | BSPN Architecture | Photographer: Scott Burrows

2023 National Architecture Awards Program

Somerville House - Fewings Building | BSPN Architecture

Traditional Land Owners
the Turrbal and Yuggera peoples
Year
2023
Chapter

Queensland

Region

Brisbane

Category
Educational Architecture
Builder
Ashley Cooper Construction
Photographer
Scott Burrows
Project summary

BSPN Architecture, together with Somerville House, have brought Fewings Building back to its position as the ‘heritage heart’ of the school.

With this reinvention came a commitment to honour the building’s 1920 heritage, restored to its former grandeur with characteristic brick and lintel, re-establishing character features whilst introducing new elements that respect and celebrate the building’s traditional fabric.

BSPN began with a thorough understanding of the structural constraints of a double-brick 100-year-old building and how we could best repurpose it to meet Somerville House’s growing demands and desire to revitalise the historic quadrangle on campus.

The original verandas that had been closed in were opened back up and extended, restoring its vibrant Queenslander vernacular to capture prevailing breezes. Existing 100-year-old timber bracing walls exposed during construction were sustainably repurposed into joinery and timber seating throughout the project, and the original timber flooring and existing staircase were restored.

The re-imagined Fewings Building design has far exceeded the school’s expectations. It has created crucial additional modern learning spaces but even more importantly it has enhanced the student and staff experience by creating a range of teaching spaces that encourage collaboration and connection to external areas and the greater campus.

BSPN engaged with stakeholders to genuinely understand the significance of the 100-year-old building and how best to repurpose it. The new veranda spaces between internal and external spaces promote collaboration during lessons and provide much-needed enjoyable gathering spaces that are so far occupied by students all throughout the day.

Project Practice Team

Cara Phillips, Project Director – Architect
Sophie Briggs, Graduate of Architecture
Walid Sfeir, Project Architect

Project Consultant and Construction Team

Ashley Cooper Construction, Construction Manager
Bartley Burns, Certifier
Blades Project Management, Project Manager
Cardno, Hydraulic Consultant
Cardno, Structural Engineer
Fire Engineers Australia, Fire Engineer
InDesign Access, Access Consultant
Stantec, Electrical Consultant
Trinity Consultants, Acoustic Consultant

Connect with BSPN Architecture
Somerville House - Fewings Building | BSPN Architecture | Photographer: Scott Burrows

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