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 provide 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 vehicular entry point 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.
The building can now be seen nestling into its’ natural surroundings which are being amplified by a subtle choice of native plantings in the immediate surrounds of the building. While the form of the building is a strong statement of the Schools’ commitment to its’ 2020 Strategic Plan and new direction, colour cues for the exterior of the building were taken from the existing school to provide continuity and cohesion. Passive environmental control has been featured as design elements internally and externally to promote the Schools’ commitment to sustainability and act as educational beacons for students and the public alike.
While providing a strong statement connectivity of building, environment and functions was a key Brief requirement. Continuity and flexibility of teaching, circulation, multi-function and senior study spaces can now be appreciated. The close relationship with the adjoining creek & associated bushland is obvious from all areas of the building. Also critical was the connectivity between the existing buildings and the new which was particularly challenging with the addition to the Brief of the Multifunction space to actually connect the new and existing. Sheltered circulation throughout the entire school was also a key Brief requirement.
The General-Purpose Learning Areas will be able to be separated into four per teaching floor or opened to each other and or the Concourse with its’ Creek side ambience. The Learning Area walls in addition to being space dividers offer a range of learning & environmental functions. The external walls alone offer external, moveable sun shade louvres, operable glass louvres for control of natural ventilation, black out blinds for AV work and a sliding opaque writable screen. The bi-fold doors are space changers, pin boards, writable boards, light sources and acoustic barriers.
The mezzanine level Senior Private Study space has a commanding view, overlooking the Multi-Purpose Area and is bathed in shared natural light between both spaces. At ground level glass blocks provide thermal and acoustic insulation between the carpark and the ground level Learning Centres while ensuring that they have access to ample natural light. Circulation throughout the building and between the existing buildings has been designed in the form of a sheltered street walk to enhance the connectivity between the adjoining natural and learning environments and provide a more relaxed atmosphere to the whole.
Internal finishes and colours have been chosen to provide a discrete background to the learning process and to tolerate use by enthusiastic students and the maintenance team.
Teachers and school management continue their guided visits through the building and are eagerly researching teaching methods and optimum furniture types and layouts to maximise the value of the new flexible spaces.
The General-Purpose Learning Areas on Levels 3 & 4 will become available for use in Term 4. This will allow areas of the existing H Block to be vacated for completion of the building works at the junction of the new & existing buildings. Including the discrete but vital Coffee Corner which will provide a much-needed amenity for senior students, teachers and parents.
Optometry & Vision Science
University of New South Wales - Sydney
Audio Visual, Communications, Electrical, Hydraulic and Cost Planning
UNSW School of Optometry and Vision Science is the largest Australian Optometry School. Increasing enrolments have placed mounting pressures on research laboratories, formal and informal learning spaces and office accommodation. Refurbishment and expansion of the existing teaching, research and office accommodation will enable UNSW to meet the demands of growing enrolments.
DTB has been commissioned by Facilities Management as Head Consultant for full Concept, Design, Construction Documentation and Construction Administration services.
Currently under construction, the project is being staged to allow occupation of the refurbished areas, decanting from existing areas and refurbishment of the remaining spaces so that teaching and research can continue while construction is underway.
Wet and Dry Laboratories are being expanded, relocated and upgraded to PC2 compliance, Pre-Clinical & Microbiology Laboratory facilities are being extended and upgraded. Various rooms are being refurbished to Teaching Spaces, existing Bio-Chemistry & Tissue Culture rooms are being refurbished in addition to providing refurbished offices, post Doctoral facilities, open plan areas and meeting rooms.
The key issues for the project are related to site access and noise impacts during construction, particularly during exam periods as well as the decanting process.
Art Workshop Upgrade
UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY SYDNEY
Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building
Hydraulic, Mechanical, Electrical
Provision of a dedicated “cooking station” for the dying of fabrics & yarns in the DAB Textiles/ Print Workshop
The Textiles component of the Bachelor of Design in Fashion and Textiles required an update of its’ workshop facilities for the dying of fabric & yarns to improve the safety and convenience for the handling of large pots of boiling liquids.
The UTS prioritised the project due to WHS Risk Management analysis. Working with the Stakeholders including Faculty & Workshop managers, a simple brief to occupy one corner of a busy facility became a serious, state of the art facility for the dyeing of fabrics and yarns with a purpose designed exhaust system to deal with steam and dyes.
While the Design Brief had included references to similar facilities within Australia, DTB Architects worked with the Stakeholders and select manufacturers to prototype the bench with the required number of soak tanks and rinsing basin. A mini-fume cabinet was included in the Brief to manage the mixing of powder dyes prior to immersion in water. Material Safety Data Sheets were obtained for all chemicals contained in the dyes used.
Working within the existing UTS DAB building with its unique concrete structure, meant that running services – particularly water to and from the dying bench to the wash up room was particularly challenging when matched with the necessity of flushing out the pots after the dying process and keeping pots at a safe level for students.
Prototyping continues for the actual dying pots. Originally in Stainless steel, current testing is in aluminium to lessen the weight of the pots which are to contain large amounts of hot water, dye and yarn/ textiles. Once the bench is complete and pots are installed, UTS will purchase lifting equipment to result in a safe, cutting edge facility.
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.