Presbyterian Ladies' College award-winning construction celebrates its senior students
Reflection is a useful means by which we learn more about our journey. Recently on 18 October 2017, the West Australian Chapter had the opportunity to reflect on the learning journey of Presbyterian Ladies' College (PLC) students as we visited the new Senior School Building and Quad.
The new Senior School building fits within its tight site in an ingenious solution tying together numerous existing floor levels and providing contemporary learning spaces for current teaching practices.
It is reconstructed over a previous mish-mash of different levels and structures leaving a new logical, rational plan of flexible learning spaces and open spaces with enlarged circulation and a dedicated space for the College’s senior students. As well as modern new spaces designed to celebrate senior learning, the building features clever new public entries with statement architecture, showing the importance of the learning within to the public.
The central Quad space is an interesting multi-use space in the centre of the school. As a former student, I remember this quad space fondly as a celebrated heart of the school in high use during school breaks, and deserted the rest of the time. On the day we visited the space was in high use with students utilising the grassed areas and the many different seating options.
The variety of spaces in the external setting allows for many different activities, as evidenced by our visit. This new space, as the only WA project to receive an award in this year’s LEA Regional Awards, resourcefully ties the indoor learning spaces together and creates a focus for both the physical and pedagogical structures of the College.
As I reflected on my journey from PLC student to architect, I enjoyed seeing the new opportunities for incidental and flexible learning available to the PLC students created under the expertise of MCDF Architects. Spaces for learning were balanced between large and intimate and formal and informal, with an obvious connection between the College’s philosophy and the built plan.
Article and photos by Dani Martin, EIW Architects