Don’t be fooled by this Australian school’s staid appearance. A walk around to its main entrance reveals a surprising and dynamic kaleidoscope of color and geometry hidden at its heart. Designed by Australian architecture firm McBride Charles Ryan, the Ivanhoe Grammar Senior Years & Science Center in Victoria is a multifunctional learning space that visually blends the school’s commitment to a well-rounded education and classical approach to learning with an embrace of the imagination and arts.
McBride Charles Ryan made a name for themselves with their penchant for angular geometry and playful design, and the Ivanhoe Grammar Senior Years & Science Center is no exception. The project was recently announced winner of the WAN Color in Architecture Award 2016 and was chosen for its use of color as a key element throughout the design. The building’s dark facade and circular shape is dramatically contrasted with the angular geometry and colorful surfaces in the central courtyard.
“The contrast so evident in this building’s language encapsulates the contemporary methodologies for a well-rounded education,” write the architects. “The circular form is classical, representing order, and the certainty of knowledge – the building’s inner world, with its expressive and complex mosaic of spaces, represents the uncertainty and complexity of modern life and scientific understanding, and the necessity of the qualities of wonder and imagination to see us through.”
The building facade is made up of vertical fins that provide solar shading and is heavily insulated and built of robust materials that need little maintenance. The landscaped inner courtyard and the building’s large openings in the roof and at the main entrance help blur the lines between indoor and outdoor space and bring in ample natural light. The classrooms and learning spaces are strategically placed to maximize access to daylight and natural ventilation while minimizing solar glare.
Images by John Gollings