The Mandeville Centre

Project Details

Architects
Architectus

Award
Commendation Category: 2 - New Construction: Major Facility

Address
10 Mandeville Crescent Toorak, 3142 Victoria

Cost
$16.5 m

Project Overview

The Mandeville Centre was and is a major investment into the vitality of Loreto Toorak, an independent Catholic school for girls from P-12.

The building is the determination of the site and community and has provided a spatial framework for learning and social interaction.

Jury Citation

The Mandeville Centre has been designed as a focal point of the school community in function and location with linkages to all school operations. A strong sophisticated, clear architectural concept and functional pin wheel planning strategy have determined this projects success.

The brief asked for a variety of uses including: 

  • A new academic and common room centre for senior staff, year 12 library and a year 12 centre providing a transitional facility between school and university.
  • Internally the atrium centre of the pinwheel- the library/common room has become the ‘hub’ of the school- its described by the principal as light, bright, welcoming, beautiful, warm, elegant and academic.
  • Double height spaces enhance the views to the outside.
  • The east and west facades have external steel fins orientated to the view whilst providing solar control.
  • The north facade provides an uninterrupted connection with the landscape and heritage setting.

The initial brief was to replace and expand upon an existing two storey building that was built in the 1970s, with Year 12 Centre, Library, Staff Centre and School Administration. A 40 space underground car park and eastern courtyard development were added post concept phase and tender phase respectively.

The design began as a direct response to key site constraints, and developed into a pinwheel concept as a diagrammatic response to the physical brief, animating and ordering the building program around a central internal space.

The building consists of a square plan arrangement over 3 levels with the library and Year 12 centre forming a double story atrium. The ground floor is nestled into the site, and is zoned according to function and access into public privileged and private zones: the northern edge is a gallery, internal street and function space; the central enclosed zone, accessible from the gallery, includes a community room, lecture theatre, school administration and shared amenities; the Staff Centre is activity based and premised on the vision to create an inspiring workplace that promotes a cohesive and stimulated work culture – rather than workstations lined up row after row.

The planning of the main learning floors uses a pinwheel arrangement of enclosed space radiating from around a central atrium. The building facades pull away from this pinwheel to create dramatic gallery spaces at the edges. At level 1 the enclosed spaces are used for acoustically controlled settings; large sliding doors allowing for varied relationships with adjacent spaces. Gaps between project views and connections beyond the confines of enclosure. Spaces beyond the pinwheel can be used for more reflective learning or simply as a retreat space from the central library. At level 2 the enclosed spaces are for classrooms or more focused learning. The gaps and interstitial space are used for more social or informal settings.

The atrium is a response to the courtyard typology of the campus as well as a spatial device for connecting program and people. There is a physical and visual connection between the two upper levels, reinforcing the students' journey through their schooling life.

This page last updated: Tuesday 24 May 2016

2016 Category 2 New Construction Major Facility