Arts College


This arts college design proposal incorporates learning facilities for the studio arts and performing arts.

The basic form of the building takes the shape of the site as an L-shaped volume. The main intention of the design was to mediate between the need for enclosed space, and open private space through the insertion of courtyards which are carved out/ subtracted of the building. The double skin facade also draws on this idea of public vs private space. This visual connection between internal and external spaces enables there to be a sense of interaction between the school and the public.

Given the importance of the recital hall within the college, it was given a separate entry from the administration wing. As the entry shares a street front with a prominent heritage civic building, the facade is plain, subdued and subtle without punctures so as to give the civic building prominence on the streetscape. This entry is through a meshed corridor on one side and glazed on the other, which looks out onto a primary courtyard with reflective pool and landscaping.

The idea of subtraction is carried out through the design, with double height voids at alternating levels to allow visual connections between floors at the main college entry. There are three main vertical circulation shafts, which incorporate lift core and fire stairs.

The break out spaces which are connected with the courtyards, balconies and terraces, including the cafeteria and the smaller student social spaces, enable students to sit and study, read or talk with friends. This effectively internalizes the idea of the school yard. It also provides a safe and weather controlled environment for students and staff to rest, or even break out of the main studio spaces and work collaboratively with other disciplines.

The materials are concrete, with encased steel columns and beams. The double skin facade comprises of a glass internal skin and metal mesh material for the external skin. The mesh doubles as a sun shading screen device which also extracts heat away from the internal skin through the stack effect of the 600mm void between the two skins.