The Park Lake State School multi-purpose resource hall, funded by the Federal Government’s Building the Education Revolution (BER) program, was designed with a ‘green engineering’ philosophy in mind.
The structural steel used throughout the building was specified with the intention of using recycled steel to minimise the building’s carbon footprint while providing the school with a contemporary facility in line with the school’s aim to strive to provide students with the best possible learning environment.
Many environmentally sustainable design initiatives were incorporated within the design including the northeast orientation of the building to take advantage of the cool summer breezes. Large overhangs also provide sun and weather protection while translucent wall cladding and large openings allow natural light to penetrate the main hall and amenities block. The entire building is naturally ventilated and water tanks included in the design.
The client’s initial core outcome was to create a building that would represent the school, present to the street context and interact with the community. The final design focused on the key points of access, interaction and form to create an environment far beyond a standard designated BER template, providing a contemporary focal point for the school community.
The new hall seats over 450 people and serves as the main meeting space of the school. It includes a performance stage with audio visual system and an additional amenities block with kitchen and adjoining meeting room. The amenities block and performance hall are separated by an open gathering space which fans out to greet the guests, providing a stepped thoroughfare from the school entry to the sports field.
The amenities block was separated from the performance hall to provide access to the facilities during sports days. The servery, meeting room and amenities can be opened to the school without having to open the entire hall, improving the buildings security.
As the building is the first thing visitors see as they enter the school, the building design kept the idea of first impressions in mind. The strongly distinguished roof profile gives the structure individual identity from the other school buildings, presenting itself to the community as the centrepiece of the school.
The project team, led by Suters, followed and reinforced the conceptual framework. As the project was a BER procured building, the budget was absolute. All design outcomes were successfully completed within the budget framework, with funds carefully spent on the important design features to ensure maximum results.