Mercedes College St Joseph’s Year 12 Learning Centre

Project Details

Site Architecture Studio

Victoria Square Perth , WA 6000 Australia

Site Architecture Studio


Paul Edwards

Project Overview

The St Joseph’s Year 12 Learning Centre is a challenging alteration and addition to a heritage building constructed in 1895. The alteration solves issues with the existing building while also providing provides flexibility and the ability for 21st century learning.

The original St Joseph’s building, constructed in 1895, was one of the first school buildings on the campus. Throughout its life, the building has been subject to many layers of unsympathetic additions and alterations and Site Architecture Studio were commissioned to shape the building into a new year 12 Learning Centre. The design team were eager to pull back all these the layers of interference to reveal the original building fabric and convert this traditional cellular building into a 21st century learning environment.

Site Architecture extensively analysed the existing building fabric to determine how best to create the required general learning areas and flexible break out spaces. We managed to retain 100% of the existing external fabric and simply removed the existing internal walls by using structural portal frames which braced the external walls. To respect the original internal fabric, these existing removed walls are reflected in the carpet tile design.

The addition touches the existing fabric of the building lightly through bridged connections. The original eastern façade has become a feature internal wall further separating the existing building from the new addition. The form and materiality was to highlight the difference between the old and new. The upper floor box acts like a traditional enclosed veranda. Clad with zinc to respect of the history of the site, the cantilevered addition will age and patina gracefully beside its 120 year old neighbour.

This page last updated: Thursday 3 April 2014