Trinity Anglican School (TAS), New Science Facility

WINNER – 2016 AIA ARCHITECTURE AWARDS – FAR NORTH QUEENSLAND, REGIONAL PROJECT OF THE YEAR

Conceptual framework:
A cutting edge new science facility for Trinity Anglican School (TAS) in Far North Queensland, proposed as a new prototype for educational buildings in tropical latitude. Science symbols & experiments inspired the design which is open to interpretation as helix, slinky or apparatus providing an iconic image of science in the eye of a child.

Public and Cultural Benefits:
The school engaged us with the view to utilising our design as an opportunity for architecture to assist with re-branding, marketing and changing culture on campus. The first stage of a new masterplan to be rolled out over the next 15 years, this building is sited as the new school entry and represents the future in development.

Relationship of Built Form to Context:
With a permeable ground plane, the science facility acts as an open conduit with direct covered links through to the rest of the campus.

Program Resolution:
All six laboratories have been consolidated on the upper level with a linking spine support zone. The main circulation through the heart of the building is via an open central atrium entry with feature helix staircase. All circulation corridors are open yet protected from the elements via off-form concrete balconies and the feature twisting steel sunshade façade.

Integration of Allied Disciplines:
In all of our work, we strive for innovation and new solutions to the problems of living with climate change in the 21st Century. Integration of Allied Disciplines was critical to the successful delivery of our vision for the project, advanced sustainability initiatives and practical requirements for withstanding annual cyclonic weather events. All Services in the building are exposed which required intense cross-collaboration from all allied disciplines.

Cost/Value Outcome:
The project was developed and procured through an intensive value management process, resulting in a highly cost-effective solution to the client’s specific requirements.

Sustainability:
As a new Science facility, sustainability was core to the concept for the project. From the feature sunshade façade to the photovoltaic panel array on the roof to the VRV cooling systems and advanced energy monitoring, every design decision was about efficiency. The exposed engineering services throughout the facility are used as building science educational tool.
The roof area is harvested into a water tank for grey water recycling and we utilised low energy LED fittings throughout along with low water usage plumbing fixtures. The planned configuration of teaching spaces allows for mixed mode operation via openable awning windows. With insulated thermal mass engineering, the shaded concrete structure is ideal for the location due to its inherent long life cycle efficiency and material properties to deal with the harsh, corrosive wet tropical environment.

Response to Client and User needs:
The School’s science facilities had not been updated since the mid 1980’s and they required a new building to cater for emerging technologies and changing pedagogies in the STEM field. As the first building block in a new masterplan, this Science building brings forward a bright future for TAS and its students.