All Hallows’ is a Catholic girls’ school built on top of a large rock mass on the edge of the Brisbane CBD. It has the character of a citadel, protecting the school from the bustle of urban life below.
With limited space to expand on the rock plateau, the school acquired an adjoining street level site that was partly occupied by an old brick bond store. The brief required several large-scale disparate types of facility – an Olympic water polo pool, gymnasium, auditorium, child care centre and car park.
We resolved the problem of the level differences by extending the school’s plateau across the roof of the bond store. We expanded the plane further by joining the bond store into a new building of the same height.
The pool is sunk into the combined structure, and framed by a colonnade to give it the effect of a Roman Impluvium. The gymnasium is on one side, the change rooms on another, and battened screens provide visual privacy from neighbouring residential towers.
The auditorium is grafted on top of the bond store as a masonry layer. The levels below are occupied by car parking, except at ground level where shops and offices are inserted to activate the street. The child care centre is located under the pool in the new section where it overlooks a large historic fig tree.
The strategy of extending the school plateau across the bond store’s roof produced an additional, unbriefed space. It acts as a pre-function venue for the auditorium, a pool viewing area and a social space. To protect it, we salvaged the lattice roof trusses from the demolished roof and repositioned them to support a translucent canopy. An off-shoot of the space is a small tiered outdoor performance venue.
There is a slight Corbusean influence in the forms that sit on the rooftop plane, and a sense of the surreal in elements such as picture-framed openings to specific external objects like the historic Story Bridge. But the wider intent of the project was to convey the addition of another layer of time in the evolution of this citadel campus.
- Technical Information
- Cox Team
State Commendation for Public Architecture, RAIA QLD 2008