The Tintern Middle Schools in the Melbourne suburb of Ringwood East, Australia had a unique need for its new classroom building.
The school’s Parallel Learning method of teaching separates boys and girls in grades 7, 8 and 9, but the administration wanted the students housed in the same classroom building. Kalwall translucent sandwich panels were a vital part of the solution by James Jones, design principal for Architectus Melbourne.
Jones had been intrigued by Kalwall’s unique features and found a perfect fit in this project. He designed a building with two wings, one for each gender, joined by a bridge that housed the staff office. Kalwall panels line the sides of each wing.
The panels achieved several objectives of the project, providing the high thermal performance and energy efficiency Kalwall is known for and being code compliant. The walls allow soft natural light to enter each classroom on two sides, yet maintain privacy between the girls’ and boys’ buildings.
“I was attracted to the fact that you can up-spec the insulation to increase the resistance of heat loss… and it was erected incredibly quickly,” Jones said. “It gives the effect of a fully glazed building, it glows at night and it gives a light quality much softer than say polycarbonate because it is diffuse. It reminds me of a Japanese Shoji screen.”