CEFPI WA visits Butler College

Published: Friday 21 August 2015

One of the great things about being a member of CEFPI WA is the opportunity to visit the projects of your colleagues in education facility planning, to see the real project, share ideas, knowledge and experience. The July site visit to the recently completed stage two of Butler College in Butler was one of these opportunities.

Butler College, a new Department of Education School for years 7 to 12 is situated on a limestone hill in the northern suburb of Butler. It is a prominent location which is exposed to extreme coastal weather conditions. It is evident that the master planning of the campus was designed to deal with the strong prevailing breezes by locating the buildings to shield the external spaces, creating protected courtyards between. These courtyards are connected by a robust external covered walkway, the spine of the campus which pulls the College together and functions as a wayfinding device.

The campus is primarily single storey with only a few two storey buildings. A collage of materials have been used which creates interesting and diverse surface treatments to the buildings, both internally and externally. These include: high quality precast concrete, in-situ concrete, prefinished CFC sheeting, smooth and honed concrete blockwork, and perforated steel. All materials are hard wearing and durable and it is clear that they will be able to take the everyday wear and tear of a secondary school without losing the quality of their finish.

The extensive tour took us through the new performing arts building, visual arts studios, design and technology workshops, the senior learning facilities, generous media and recording areas and the unique Specialist Facility. An interesting element of the Specialist Facility is the fully accessible indoor pool and changerooms which caters for students at all levels of mobility. An amazing facility to be provided within a mainstream school.

Listening to Johnsen Lim from Taylor Robinson, the project’s Project Architect, it was clear that this project was meticulously briefed, designed and detailed with the best interests of the stakeholders considered and provided for.

Leon Slattery
Parry & Rosenthal Architects