A slanted view...

Robert Biscoe
Wednesday 06 Oct 2010

Sustainable design is key in new multipurpose hall for Bulimba State School

Biscoe Wilson Architects recently completed a new hall for Bulimba State School, designed under the Australian Government Economic Stimulus Package which incorporates a Stephanie Alexander teaching kitchen to encourage students to grow and cook food onsite. The decision to build on a steeply sloping section of site to enable retention of available level areas of the site for child play areas made construction more complex; however the architect believes the choice resulted in a 'superior outcome'.

The western wall has been designed to incorporate ‘green wall' potential whilst roof water is harvested in tanks below the classroom level. The siting of the building played an important role in the masterplanning of this project and Biscoe Wilson Architects are currently attempting to link the older section of the school on 'the hill' with the western playing fields.

Spaces between the existing and surrounding buildings will be developed for recreation, storage and for growing food that children either cook at school or take home. The sloping site has enabled a variety of external play areas and decks to be incorporated at varying levels to maximise the relationship between indoor and external areas.

Roof water is harvested in a tank farm in the building undercroft; such water is used to flush toilets and to irrigate garden areas which in turn produce edible foods. The School has a strong commitment to ESD and has developed a strong following amongst students, staff and the P&C. The architects were supported and encouraged by the school to pursue a building design that was innovative and actively promoted the school's ESD credentials

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