Text description provided by the architects. Wilson Architects has designed a new Learning Hub for St Andrew’s Anglican College – a rapidly-growing school on the Sunshine Coast.
The Learning Hub incorporates primary and secondary school libraries, multiple collaborative teaching spaces, staff offices, professional development care, several student lounges and an expansive outdoor learning area.
St Andrew’s Anglican College Principal Chris Ivey says the Learning Hub has seamlessly integrated with the school, and students are taking full advantage of the learning opportunities it presents. “I have spent chunks of time each day in the Hub, observing the way our students are using the facility, and it is wonderful to see them using it as if it has always been there,” Chris says.
Wilson Architects’ design intent was to give the school a learning heart, and provide a highly-flexible space that could be used for a full spectrum of activity.
From concerts and large gatherings to small group meetings and quiet study sessions. Internally, contemporary materials such as glass and metal are balanced with wood to add warmth and richness to the learning space. Meanwhile, a covered outdoor gathering area supports large numbers of students in an open-air learning setting.
Wilson Architects Managing Director Hamilton Wilson says the Hub brings the learning community together, giving the students a dynamic place to collaborate and share knowledge.
“It’s shifted the focus towards student-centred learning, as opposed to concentrating on teachers and their classrooms. The Hub has given students a real sense of ownership of the space and their learning,” Hamilton says.
He says it was amazing to see the school’s centre of gravity change so dramatically. “The school has transformed from being very disparate, to extremely cohesive, with a pulsing heart of activity at its centre,” he says.
The university-like facility (as described by students) raises the profile of learning, which is now on display on major routes of the campus and no longer hidden away.
Product Description. St Andrew’s displays a predominantly brick palette on campus buildings, with steel roof and cladding highlighting school colours. For the academic centre a more abstract and contemporary materiality was sought that would still acknowledge the existing campus aesthetic. A smooth-faced PGH white brick (Crevole) references the white brick banding in the original buildings, albeit with a crisply-contemporary edge. Plexiglas highlights in the building sunshading draw out the reds and blues of the school uniform, subtly reflecting the campus colourway without directly emulating it.