Balcatta Senior High School Site Visit

Published: Thursday 28 October 2021

Originally built in the 1960s, the original buildings at Balcatta Senior High School are heritage listed and feature off-form concrete, concrete blockwork and red face brick, rich in texture and character, and embrace the concept of community within the campus.

The new 4 level building addition to the school references the existing materials and continues the existing circulation spine, ensuring there was continuity between the new and existing halves of the site. 

It was great to see nearly 50 people attend this event hosted by LEWA, to see how the new building integrated within the existing campus and addressed the steep drop in the site towards the north, creating a new campus entry point and provide universal access for the entire school.

Warm timber materials inside rooms contrast with the external materials, creating a lovely place to be for students. Large sliding doors allow students to break out into the corridors from formal learning. The new cafeteria knuckle is clad in golden yellow to highlight the transition between new and old facilities. 

New expansive courtyards with timber seating links the new and old buildings, and take advantage of the campus’ location on top of a hill by providing views to the south and the west. 

The tour ended with lively discussions over drinks and nibbles in the staff room. We’re quite lucky in WA to be able to attend events such as this one. Thank you to everyone who presented and attended to make this another wonderful event! 

Photography by Douglas Mark Black 

And Hassell for Architecture + Landscape Architecture

Article by Michelle Chew, Chair of Communications Committee, WA Chapter