The project takes an existing redundant and aging gym and arts centre located against along the edge of the school and adaptively reuses the structural frame into a new two-level hub for design and technology studies.
The project provides space for 8 learning groups connected to a spine of informal and breakout spaces. The formal learning spaces support systems engineering, robotics, design technology, and general STEM learning streams. These spaces are connected to specialist spaces including a large presentation gathering space, a 3D printing lab, a laser-cutting facility, a woodwork lab, VR lab and multipurpose maker spaces.
The existing steel frame was preserved, partially dismantled and supplemented with new structure and floors to create the new program with minimal changes, while increasing the thermal performance through the addition of an insulated envelope. Rather than concealing the existing structure, care was taken to retain the expression of the industrial steel gym structure – which complements its use as a design technology teaching space. The retention of the existing gym frame also means that there was minimal disturbance to the root zones of several significant eucalyptus gums running along the boundary of the site. The design celebrates these trees by framing views into the canopies from the 1st level spaces.