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Fitzroy High School, Melbourne, Australia

Sunday 27 Feb 2011

A school with zing!

Fitzroy High School by McBride Charles Ryan in Melbourne, Australia
images © John Gollings 
Fitzroy High School by McBride Charles Ryan in Melbourne, Australia Fitzroy High School by McBride Charles Ryan in Melbourne, Australia Fitzroy High School by McBride Charles Ryan in Melbourne, Australia Fitzroy High School by McBride Charles Ryan in Melbourne, Australia
Your comments on this project

No. of Comments: 6

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16/11/12 huo cj, Gatineau, QC
I like the use of Sound proof curtains to create private space, and use of multi shaped tables. Thus community is also able to use the school after hours. Nowadays, voluntary civic groups with budgetary restraints always have difficulty in getting meeting venues, and this is an alternative solution, SO keeping the school and its alumni still linked
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08/08/12 k, vienna
To learn more about form and color see HdM @ Cotbus
11/05/12 SVM, India
I am surprised by its form and colours. The building looks like it is making a desperate effort to stand out ,to look appealing to the common man to encourage them enough to get their kids going to this school.The designers have made an effort to do something different ,even in the interiors, but I personally do not think it deserves to be in the Awards category in the first place.
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24/02/12 Bill Hutz, Houston, TX
I am glad I do not live in that community because I wiluld not want to see this building on a regular basis.

Shapes are fine but the colors are mostly incompatible and do an injustice to the building!
11/02/12 Alex Njoo, Melbourne
As a co-Australian I'm immensely proud that McBride & Co receives an international accolade for their Fitzroy School project. But once again, to paraphrase the late Robin Boyd, Featurism has won the day. The criteria for building awards should not only concentrate on how buildings look but also on their sustainability and ecological mechanisms. For instance, how does McBride Fitzroy design advance the school's educational philosophy, its human condition and cultural outcome. Does the architects' contribution stop at the completion of the built forms?
Good architecture should be beyond the cat-walk notion of superficial appearances. Architecture means more than that.
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27/01/12 Richard Krent, AIA, Dubai
Looks cool but how does it relate to its context? It would be good to show the site plan and that means beyond the plot limit! Thank you, RK
Award Entry

Challenging the factory model of teaching, this ambitious school speaks to its broader community 

Located in inner urban Melbourne the senior addition to Fitzroy High School was officially completed on May 4 2009. The expansion to include years 11 and 12 gave the school community an opportunity to cement its reputation as a state leader in the implementation of progressive education for design, accommodating and expressing the requirements and aspirations of the 21st century. The school wanted to be ‘seen’, to be obvious as a community facility. The brief required the response to have ‘zing’.

To the occupier the building was shaped from the interior out; an initial block of program was pushed and pulled to create a series of peninsulas within the large learning studios. The intent was to create spaces within spaces, studios that could operate in a large variety of teaching scenarios from small group discussion to a large lecture format (and everything else in between). Spaces that could be divided quickly and easily via a series of dramatic curtains allow team teaching to occur fluidly in response to the dynamic of the group. Teacher’s work areas are embedded in studios, glazed and on show, impromptu and informal interaction between all is encouraged.

To the outside observer the building is shaped from the outside in; the building is proudly a community building, an urban marker to enhance urban legibility. The building was to talk about the schools aspirations and ambition. The brickwork tradition extends the rich tradition of expressive brickwork in the local area. The dense patterning and double windows confounds the reading of the inside spaces from outside, it counterpoints the rationalist of the 60’s classroom block it abuts: The difference reflecting a change in teaching from the 60’s factory model to a model more flexible and focused on the individual.

Key Facts

Status Completed
Value 0(m€)
McBride Charles Ryan

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