LocationParramatta NSW, Australia
Text description provided by the architects. Our Lady of Mercy College Parramatta
In an over century old school a new educational environment with a refreshed image and latest technology has been added.
The library is the main room of the new building occupying the entire middle floor around sixty metres in length. The books surround the room inviting browsing and and above these large continuous windows open onto a two- storey steel columned arcade with mesh covered with Jasmine and Bower of Beauty. The pink and white flowers and green leaves suffuse natural light into the library providing an outlook to nature that encourages quiet contemplation.
On the upper floor the roof lifts up to the light sheltering six science laboratories that share the view into the vines.
The eastern part of the building contains the learning areas It is a columned pavilion fully glazed on three side with light weight metal upstands. The vine-covered arcade gives the building an light, soft character facing the
playground and the school campus to the east.
The building forms the western edge of the school, protecting the playground from the traffic noise, the harsh afternoon sun and the adjacent Parramatta Stadium. On the polished precast concrete graffiti resistant base sits a solid brick prism containing the circulation and service spaces protecting the learning areas beyond. The brick wall is thick housing downpipes and risers. Slit windows allow for brick growth, give shaded openings for light and glimpses out while maintaining privacy.
The rooms are shaded, naturally lit and naturally ventilated. Air conditioning is available for use when the weather is harsh. The building is well insulated and supports solar panels for hot water and power generation.
The school is proud of their new learning areas and the building provides a refreshing new image and educational outlook reviving an established institution.