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Learning space provides protection and connection

Responding to climatic constraints played an important role in the development of a Year 7 Learning Centre at Trinity Bay State High School completed by Peddle Thorp.

2 September 2014

Responding to climatic constraints played an important role in the development of a Year 7 Learning Centre at Trinity Bay State High School completed by Peddle Thorp.

While construction faltered briefly at the beginning of the project due to the wet season, the new two-storey building was completed ahead of schedule, and is built to embrace far north Queensland conditions.

From start to finish the project was designed and developed to suit its environment and create a feeling of interconnectivity among the school community.

Features of the project designed to protect and connect staff and students include:

  • Careful site selection near the school
  • Entrance on Hoare Street to avoid flooding and access issues and link the new structure to the existing theatre forecourt.
  • A simple, thermally-responsive outer structure that creates passive shading to protect students from the sun and heat, including full length vertical fins and perforated panels.
  • Covered walkways that provide sheltered links to the school's previously exposed circulation routes, introducing student break-out nodes in the process.
  • Access routes positioned on the western side so they are sheltered from prevailing winds and rain, while filtering the effect on the building from afternoon sun.
  • Additional covered seating and landscaping that offer a diversity of engaging learning and recreation spaces.

In addition, Peddle Thorp paid attention to creating a low maintenance and modern structure that would complement the current buildings through: material selection (steel and fibre cement with minimal painted surfaces); and sparing but dynamic use of colour along walkways and inside classrooms.

The end result is a series of extremely well-lit contemporary learning spaces that relate to each other, the building as a whole, and the rest of the school.

Peddle Thorp Far North were commissioned as Principal Consultants for the expansion by the Department of Education, Training and Employment as part of the State Government 's Year 7 Flying Start Initiative, encouraging new enrolments in 2015.

Leadership and effective planning provided by Peddle Thorp saw this project completed well within budget, and sooner than expected - allowing the school to use the building a full term ahead.