The design team developed a response to a prescriptive program to help promote cross-curricular interaction. Key principles include: co-locating and blurring the boundaries between traditionally segregated areas of the curriculum; making a distinction in scale, location and texture between General Learning Communities and the more sophisticated Senior Learning Community; emphasising linkages between internal and external spaces with large opening walls, deep verandah 'rooms' and informal work spaces; developing incidental and benchmarked circulation space to encourage flexible learning opportunities; integrating sustainability principles into the building design and layout.
The design process, including interaction with the eventual College Principal, tested briefed operational issues while investigating ‘soft’ or unbriefed opportunities. For example, a ‘multipurpose room’ with folding glass walls within the library/café provides opportunity for three configurations; demonstration restaurant, seminar or library expansion. This approach has now been adopted by Department of Education as standard practice.In a similar way, the performing arts facility can operate as separate performance / dance studios, a proscenium stage using dance studio, or be reversed with large tilt doors to view a stage from the courtyard. The site layout allows discreet, natural surveillance with minimal staff - but emphasises a community heart focused on an existing significant tree. Many issues were interrogated in this way…but it is most exciting for the design team to watch the school community develop their own, unexpected responses to open-ended design opportunities.