Bornego College commissioned HVDN and Studioninedots to design and build a new facility for their first year students in a spot adjacent to the school. The goal of the new building, besides providing useful space for the school, was to create a cost-effective, energy efficient and sustainable school. The designers chose to keep the building’s footprint compact to minimize effects on the site and maximize energy use and daylighting. Slightly sunk into the earth, the three-story building has a taller ground floor and is protected by the earth.
Classrooms and study areas are situated around the perimeter of the building and anchored by an atrium that extends through each floor. A large skylight pulls light into the interior and—with the help of the sculptural staircase—connects each floor and all the rooms together. This atrium also helps dissipate heat from the classrooms, thus reducing the need for ducts and subsequent costs. Prefabricated concrete elements reduced construction time and the facade is clad in recycled bricks. To create unity across the multi-colored bricks, they plastered the exterior with a light grey concrete. Finally, daylighting in each of the rooms reduces artificial lighting and the golden frames, which contrast well with the exterior, help reflect light inside.