Disruption at Work

Published: Wednesday 25 May 2016

Northern Beaches Christian School has demonstrated leadership in change, innovative and creativity so it was no surprise to find that the vision for "Manhattan and the City" came from the Principal, Stephen Harris and that the brief did not provide a tight specification, room data sheets, or cost/ space per student but a series of contradictions to challenge the design team.

Vision: Stephen Harris, Principal
" What if a school was built using the same notion as an airport? A new space operating as the central heart, connecting all the elements of the community and providing the functional space that would enable everything to happen - transition, reflection, connection and community".

Brief - the challenge
"We wanted an environment that was built from the imagination, not the known; was as high as it was wide, leading to an immediate awareness of space. A building infused with green elements and light. The new space was to reflect who we are: highly transparent, innovative and instinctively intuitive. The space around was to be designed around notions of community, connection and relationship"

Result - an exciting space, open to fresh air and views, steps for seating, spaces for activities, and a huge video screen projecting surfing, mountaineering, cities of the world ....and more. it links to a very flexible science centre with wide glass doors leading to the outdoor area. 

It is a beautiful space and a place enjoyed by the students and the wider community for a diverse range of events. The partnership between the Principal and the Architects, WMK Architecture has shown how a disruptive approach can work.

Copy:  Ann Gorey - SA Chapter life member and Images:  Laurence Robinson - VIC Chapter