Trinity College is one of the foundation residential colleges at the University of Melbourne. It has an eclectic collection of nineteenth and twentieth century buildings set within a beautiful landscape. The Theological School occupies the former Wardens Lodge in the south west corner of the campus facing Royal Parade. The project involved the refurbishment of the existing building plus a new pavilion extension. The original residence was designed by McGlashan Everist Architects in 1960. It has adapted well to the new educational use with little change to the layout of rooms. Bedrooms became offices and living spaces became teaching rooms. The residence has a formal rectangular plan with a large internal courtyard onto which all rooms face. It is a fine example of the architecture of the period with a simple modern aesthetic. It is a very modest and private building, which is largely hidden from view by an established layered landscape of hedges and large trees.
The design approach was to retain and refurbish the existing courtyard building and add a new companion building to the west with a common linked entry. The new pavilion has been designed as a flexible teaching space which spills out into the surrounding landscape. The pavilion is separated but linked to the existing building via a compact glazed entry foyer. It has two large roof lanterns which provide controlled daylight and natural ventilation as well as a voluminous spatial interior. Roof lanterns work very well for large classroom and function spaces and are an essential element in the ESD strategy.
As viewed from Royal Parade the new pavilion building appears as a large reflective garden wall set behind an established hedged fence. The location and manner of the new extension reinforces the internalised private nature of the original courtyard house. A large picture window faces north and onto the College Chapel which provides a strong connection back to Theology.
The building has been designed with a careful regard to ecologically sustainable principles. This includes maximising north facing windows, providing fixed and adjustable sun control, good thermal performance in walls, floors and roofs, double glazed windows, provision of energy efficient appliances and services along with natural ventilation to all spaces. Roof water is collected for reuse to serve the new toilets and to irrigate the garden. Outdoor courtyards and timber decks provide a high level of amenity with a series of relaxed outdoor spaces.
The social focus for the Theological School is the large internal courtyard onto which all rooms connect via a continuous loop corridor. Overall the new complex provides a fine setting for Theology which has a relaxed and contemplative atmosphere set within a beautiful garden.