The Caritas College Junior School External Covered Area at Port Augusta, South Australia, is the first major project to be implemented after Tridente Architects were engaged to master plan the entire Caritas College campus. This major study was undertaken by the twenty-year-old college to accommodate the increase in demand envisaged as a result of the current investment in mining in the south central region of Australia.
Architect: Tridente Architects
Location: Caritas College, Woodforde Street, Port Augusta South Australia 5700, Australia
Structural/Civil Engineer: Wallbridge & Gilbert
Services Consultant: Lucid Consulting Engineers
Building Surveyor: Katnich Dodd
Cost Consultant: Heinrich Consulting
Builder: Tagara Group
Project Area: 3,380 sqm
Project Year: 2010
Photographs: Simon Cecere
The project comprises the redevelopment of a previously underutilized portion of the site into a multipurpose outdoor covered area where sport training and play, community use and student performances can be held both during the day and at night. The built form provides a new external student hub, a centre for the college’s external activity and linkages to the new circulation patterns and spaces allocated in the master plan.
The nature of the project enabled the college to undertake the work as part of the Building Education Revolution program. With the implication of a regional location in conjunction with the requirements dictated be the federal funding authority, consideration was given to construction techniques and material selection, which would reduce the construction period on site. To this end, the cladding utilizes a unique steel profile Aramax 800A100 which has structural properties allowing for exceptionally long spans without secondary support. The choice of this material alone reduced the amount of structural steel required and reduced onsite labor to ensure that the project was cost effective.
The integrity of the structure system that has been adopted has resulted in a robust tectonic form that rises to connect with the existing environs. The roofing and wall profile present a simple but striking two-tone pattern of black and white on black structural framing with highlights of yellow. To the north facade the vertical sheets are rhythmically spaced with subtle variation, hinting at a relationship to adjacent music classrooms and providing shelter from the prevailing winds whilst maintaining visual connection to activities on the sports field beyond.
The new building has dramatic presence that clearly reinforces the established identity of Caritas College. Its unique nature has ensured that it has become well known in Port Augusta and the local community.