Cottee Parker's concept designed to enhance education for students with high needs
Located on the Gold Coast, the new TAFE College replaces the existing obsolete facility, and caters to ‘high-need’ youth / adult migrants whilst providing vocational education and training to international students. The client brief called for a high quality new TAFE College as part of a larger master-planned campus which includes a student accommodation facility. In contrast to the existing facility, which comprises a series of disconnected buildings, the new TAFE College brings students together into one central facility, creating spaces for social interaction and holistic learning to occur.
In response to the client’s brief for flexible learning environments, learning spaces are articulated by movable sliding doors, allowing students to reconfigure their space as required. These adaptable spaces and flexible infrastructure are also designed to maximise resources in anticipation of future growth - also key to the client’s brief. This centralised facility with multi-use, flexible spaces offers a variety of learning environments, enhancing the education process and equipping students to successfully assimilate into the wider community.
The building exploits the site’s sub tropical climate, with ample outdoor terrace adjacent to the library and classrooms allowing an extension of the indoor learning environment. A range of sustainability initiatives have been incorporated into the design, including sun-shading, naturally ventilated foyer spaces and corridors, connections to public transport, and rain-water collection and conservation features. A signature façade trellis inspired by the site’s bushland habitat is intended to screen the adjacent road and provide an entry statement.
The soaring butterfly roof not only offers extensive shading to indoor and outdoor areas, but creates a distinct identity for students. The robust materials and unique form of the building create a high quality facility which will not only inspire students to achieve, but will create a strong image for the TAFE representing its philosophy of providing a high quality education.