St Philip’s Christian Education Foundation – Central Office | SHAC

SHAC have enjoyed working with St Philip’s Christian Education Foundation (SPCEF) for over a decade. It is our absolute honour to present their new Central Office & Teaching School project in Waratah. The 3-storey building is a civic contribution to the school community, with direct reference to the 1920’s St Philip’s Church, which remains adaptively re-purposed, and is the location of the commencement of the first St Philip’s College in 1982.

The form of the building and materiality compliments the existing church, without mimicking it. It is a long simplified rectangular form accented with moments of delight. The skillion roof ensures a wash of soft light permeates through the building. The contrasting banded dark brick on the new building juxtaposes the original decorative cream ecclesiastical bricks.

Karuah River Retreat | SHAC

The meander, a bend in a river, ancient, dappled shade, birdsong, timeless.

Worimi and Gringai country is known as land of ‘native plumb trees’, ‘abundant fish’ and ‘big water holes’ is a timeless place for food, shelter and harvest. This site has been a campground for generational families, later living in a shed, around pot bellies and possums.

SHAC sought to frame the edge of the old shed site, re-use bits and bobs and embrace the river sights, sounds and smells through a series of elevated passive pavilions. Prefabricated in Newcastle, assembled on site in a few days, then fitted out and finished off in-situ by some truly clever earthy folk.

Three new pavilions; one for living (family), one for sleeping (fatigue) and one for utilities (farm) blend quietly into the surroundings. It is honest and raw, as a farmhouse should be. We’ve totally lost the owners, they’ve gone bush!

St Patrick’s Primary School Lochinvar | SHAC

They say clover ignites soil, it converts nitrogen from the air and deposits rich nutrients back into the ground for healthy growth.

St Patrick’s Primary School at Lochinvar is a literal manifestation of the three-leaf clover. This pedagogical pattern won SHAC the Blacket Award for Stage One back in 2018. Now three stages, and five years, later the Masterplan has come to fruition, the school is complete – a cluster of learning leaves sprinkled on a country meadow, fit for country kids and clever teachers.
This project is an exemplary masterplanning and architectural solution to meet the needs of a growing school community, its staff, and its students, who started the project with a legacy of outdated and unsuitable school buildings. The design accomplishes much with little. Modesty scaled buildings are clustered to form a new school address and heart, creating the armature for new methods of teaching and learning.

Maggie Street |Curious Practice

Maggie Street reinterprets and respects the amenity, heritage and character of the surrounding suburb, but while neighbours inhabit as single dwellings on large lots, Maggie Street manages a fraternal quadruplet of generous two-storey townhouses. Flexibility in the planning of each unit can allow for any number of occupant requirements, from a growing family, home office or just having room to have the grandchildren stay.

Materials have been chosen for their practicality, durability and texture—changing with shifting shadows and development of patina over time. The red cement-bonded particle board and zincalume claddings bring both familiarity and vitality to the development, and with lawn removed from the site, an all native landscape plan brings biodiversity back to help repair the site post-construction.

Increasing density, reducing sprawl and fostering a sense of community between occupants are becoming the new standards for developments people actually want to live in—not just buy.

Watt St Commercial | CKDS Architecture

The Watt Street Commercial Project transforms the former Watt Street Arc theatre into three levels of A-Grade office space connected by an open atrium stair. This addition seamlessly integrates contemporary, light-filled commercial areas while respecting Lawrence Nield’s original award-winning design. Vertical louvres encase a newly proposed glazed box hovering above the office entry to Watt Street. Originally designed as a tiered internalized theatre space, the shift to commercial use necessitated an increased emphasis on natural light and amenity, serving as a driving force behind the design concept.The alterations and additions to the existing structure stand as a pivotal element within an upscale commercial complex in Newcastle’s vibrant East End.

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