Senior School Independent Learning & Resources Centre
SYDNEY, OXFORD FALLS
CURRENT - UNDER CONSTRUCTION
Department of Primary Industries (Water), Rural Fire Service, Ausgrid
Superintendent, Design Specialist, Structural, Mechanical, Electrical, Hydraulics, NCC/BCA, BCA Part J, Thermal Modelling, Accessibility, Electro Magnetic Radiation, Acoustic, Land Survey, Landscape, Specification, Private Certifier, Planning, Quantity Surveying, Geotechnical, Environmental, Bush Fire.
Oxford Falls Grammar Schools’ 2020 Strategic Plan includes an approved Masterplan for expansion of the school facilities. K Block will be a separate new wing dedicated to and designed for Senior Students. The project includes an exciting Multi Purpose space as the pivotal connection between the existing H Block and the new wing. Covered, accessible walkways and bridges providing streamlined access throughout the school, the sporting facilities and future expansion are also a critical part of the project.
In June 2017 DTB won a competitive Design Tender for their proposal to provide an environmentally sustainable range of learning facilities with the unmistakable flexibility required under the schools’ pedagogy. The site at the southern end of the existing facilities provides an important entry point to vehicular entry to the School. The form and scale of the building makes a statement that the School is launching a new chapter with purpose and direction.
The sensitive natural environment is celebrated throughout the building while enhancing the stimulating and functional learning spaces.
Now well under construction and largely “out of the ground”, Level 2 slabs and stair-cases are being poured, external and internal finishes selections have been agreed and the bridge over Middle Creek has been commenced.
DTB’s in-house education policy is put into effect in part by allowing every staff member who has been involved with the documentation of the project to attend the formal Site Meetings on a rotating basis.
Robert as DTB’s senior CAD technician, being profoundly deaf, has had limited opportunity to date in his career to gain first hand experience on construction sites and is really enjoying the experience. Thanks to the availability of interpreters through government assistance programs, Robert is not only able to partake in the site inspections but also attend the formal site meetings to gain first hand experience of the dynamics in a construction program. Apparently, the interpreters are also enjoying the opportunity to explore a new field to expand their own expertise.
Teaching & Research Upgrade
University of Sydney, Anderson Stuart Building Upgrade
University of Sydney
Acoustic, Audio Visual, BCA, Fire Engineer, Heritage, Mechanical, Electrical
Previously known as the “Old Medical School”, the Anderson Stuart Building has been in continuous use for medical research and teaching since its construction in the 1890’s. DTB Architects has been chosen to provide the design, documentation and construction administration for the most recent major upgrade works to convert the existing spaces into modern teaching and research spaces that are technology enabled to allow transmission of lectures to remote on and off campus sites and to allow external users to partner with the University in their use of the space.
Currently in Construction Handover stage the upgraded teaching, research, student facilities and infrastructure works within the building including the Vesalian Lecture Theatre, Prosection Preparation Store, Dry teaching laboratories, Wet Anatomy laboratories, Opthalmology Research, Post-Graduate Student offices, four Communications Server Rooms and HVAC infrastructure upgrade.
The maximum number of students for each space will soon be able to enjoy upgraded temperature control and air quality, higher lighting levels, data and power outlets and connections for now and the future, modern audio visual facilities with daylight block out capacity in most teaching spaces, upgraded services and security. This is being achieved within the heritage building spaces which are as far as possible being returned to their original spatial forms after the removal of previous internal subdivisions which had been identified as the “major impediment to further improvement in teaching and research.”
Demolition and re-purposing of existing mixed-use spaces to create 24 new teaching spaces, staff amenities, circulation and associated lobby spaces in the Squarehouse and Blockhouse.
The Squarehouse and Blockhouse are to be replaced with new buildings identified in the UNSW masterplan. Howevever, the University population is expanding at a faster rater than new teaching spaces in new buildings can be provided. The project was therefore required to utilise the existing buildings for new teaching spaces with maximimum utilisation of existing components and finishes and minimal budget.
Cues were taken from two recently refurbished classrooms on Level 1. The playful orange, green and red colours used in the seating for this refurbishment were extended throughout the circulation spaces as well as in the furniture. This also served to assist with way-finding throughout the building.
The assessment, documentation, matching and coordination of new and reused items was one of the challenges of the project, with reused items needing to be placed alongside new extending from the carpet, roller blinds, furniture, stainless steel kitchen tops etc.
New build two-storey block providing independent learning centre (ground floor) and science block (first floor). The new science block was required to connect to and extend from the existing science block. New connecting roofs between the new and existing buildings were added during the design period as was a new timber walkway along and overlooking the creek and tree canopy.
As an integral part of their ongoing commitment to the environment and to environmental education, the brief also required installation of an Autonomous Energy system complete with provision for publically accessible monitoring screens in the classroom for students and teachers to monitor power usage under controlled conditions.
The modern concept of ‘Independent Learning Centre’ rather than the conventional ‘Class Room’ was investigated and implemented in the design. Flexible learning spaces, integration of technology and new teaching methods based on active learning rather than passive learning were initiated by the school. The new building is a beacon of progression and change and contrasts to the older classroom layouts adjacent.
The real challenge of the site for the client and the construction crew was the tight, triangulated space within which to achieve the desired teaching spaces. Stakeholder and user involvement with teachers, staff and facilities management was high and continuous to resolve the logistics of the independent learning aspect of the facility and the proposed triangular learning space, the specific services for the laboratories and the interior design.
The adjacent Middle Creek, important for being source of the highest waterfalls in the Sydney metropolitan region, is protected by Management Plans and closely monitored by local bushland groups. Protection and appreciation of this natural environment running through the school grounds is a priority for the school and was a major consideration particularly during the construction phase. Alternate structural solutions for the timber walkway were required to meet the geological conditions and maintain the integrity of the banks of the creek.
Additional constraints of the project for the design and construction was the continuing and uninterrupted functioning of the school during term and the safety of all users of the site including parent pick up and drop off logistics.
The result is an uninterrupted series of learning spaces linking traditional and new with improved access through and around the site. The new transparent, first floor science block is an inspiring space filled with light and the surrounding natural environment.
DTB is currently investigating a five-year master plan for the school.
Broken Hill Council, University of Sydney, Federal Government
Project Management (NSW Public Works & Lend Lease), Architectural, BCA, Electrical, Geotechnical, Environmental, Hydraulic, Hazmat, Quantity Surveyor, Land Surveyor
The project was an extension of the Allied Health in Outback Schools Program, where university students from the University of Sydney Broken Hill, on placements, obtain clinical training opportunities to provide early intervention therapy to children within the school setting. Expansion of student activity was established for Speech Pathology, Occupational Therapy, Dietetics and Social Work.
The 'Health Hubs' are located in seven different primary schools in Broken Hill including; Alma, Broken Hill, Broken Hill North, Burke Ward, Morgan Street and Railway Town Public Schools and the Sacred Heart Parish Primary School.
Key Stakeholders included the Commonwealth Department of Health, USYD Broken Hill, Department of Rural Health, USYD Campus Infrastructure and Services, NSW DET - Public Shcools and Asset Management Unit. Additional Stakeholders included Trustees of the Roman Catholic Church - Wilcannia-Forbes Diocese, Sacred Heart Parish Primary School, NSW Department of Health and the Far West NSW Local Health District. Consultation also involved Health Hub facility users and interested parties such as the School Parents and Citizen's Groups.
The architectural commission was to design and document to construction, seven buildings - six pre-fabricated, transportable from Sydney and one bespoke, insitu. Ultimate site selection for each of the units was chosen from a predetermined list of options endorsed by the Project Working Group and the School Principal.
Each unit comprised Office space, Group Therapy spaces, Reception and secure external area for Out-of-doors therapy. Three schools contained heritage items, which limited material selection and roof profiles.
Funding was subject to project milestones, with a contractual commitment to programme required prior to formal commission. The funding cash flow constraints resulted in a prefabricated, modular building typology being the preferred method of construction.