Ormond College Academic Centre

The Academic Centre is an adaptive re-use of a heritage listed, two-storey octagonalshaped Romberg & Boyd building circa 1964, located at Ormond College. The transformation represents a cohesive, contemporary integration of library, technology, pedagogy and materiality.

Project Details

McGlashan Everist Pty Ltd

Commendation - Category 2 Renovation/Modernisation of School/Major Faciity

49 College Crescent, Parkville VIC 3052

McGlashan Everist Pty Ltd in collaboration with Assoc. Prof. Peter Jamieson and Assoc. Prof. Rufus Black

$3,618,390 (exc. GST)

Peter Clarke

Project Overview

The brief was to create space that would support the diversity of learning styles of the modern student and provide facilities to use and access knowledge in its many forms. A different appreciation of the existing building revealed opportunities for a new academic culture and learning spaces.

The Academic Centre expresses ideas about learning and knowledge in built form. It challenges previous understandings of the physical relationship between library collections, information technology integration and learning models and sets a new precedent in education design.

Octagonal geometries organise space and create pattern. The refined geometry creates spaces as intellectually sophisticated and practical as they are beautiful. Original building concepts were reinterpreted: the central stair redesigned so that it is compliant and becomes a celebrated element; reintroducing natural light into the centre of the building reinforces the "lantern in the park” concept.

Removal of part of the first floor ceiling to sculpt a geometric dome with glazed roof lantern and an internal void for visual connection facilitates natural ventilation and light distribution.

The sky and cycles of the day are invited in through the roof lantern. The sculpting of joinery and bookshelves offers those deep in the building framed views of the trees and College buildings.

Spaces were developed through a series of workshops with specialist and services consultants to ensure complete integration in the planning resulting in a design that supports a multitude of learning modalities.

Tutorial rooms, pods to view and discuss audio-visual material, booths for collaborative work, spaces for making and quiet corners for reflection are carefully crafted and uncompromised by being part of a multi-function zone.

Carpet, cork, perforated plasterboard and spaced timber linings provide acoustic control without physical barriers.

Wind driven ventilators and openable windows provide natural ventilation and night purge opportunities. This, and good thermal mass, enables minimal mechanical intervention for environmental control. Patterns of occupancy throughout seasonal change informed the extent of hydronic heating and cooling. Life-cycle costs were managed through material selection, recycling, and sustainable design.

Despite latent conditions inherent in an old building a bespoke interior has been achieved at a modest cost.

This page last updated: Monday 10 September 2012