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    New kid on the block: Ambrose Treacy College Middle School by Fulton Trotter Architects

    Twigg Street Indooroopilly QLD 4068

    Fulton Trotter Architects have completed the latest stage of Ambrose Treacy College’s (ATC) ongoing masterplan, adding three new buildings to the school’s 40-hectare Indooroopilly campus.

    Accommodating ATC’s Year 9 and 10 students, the new Callan, Kilkenny and Westcourt Buildings are designed to a brief that, drawn from the spatial guidelines for Catholic schools calculated by enrolment numbers, was relatively conservative in pedagogical terms.

    Nonetheless, the clients desired buildings that would be flexible and inspiring to their young students. As a result, the additions together contain 18 new learning and ancillary spaces ranging from general learning areas, to specialist science, industrial arts and music facilities, and even spaces that support career and counselor services.

    The design goals – to maximise connections and views to the adjacent Brisbane River; to take advantage of natural light and ventilation; and to add vibrancy to the campus – also speak for themselves in the completed buildings. The library and canteen structure, for example, features high, exposed-truss ceilings that maximise natural light while enhancing views to the river. 

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    The project team also used an unabashed colour palette and combination of shapes and curves to excite the exterior façades, although the new structures continue to defer to the Edmund Rice Building – the school’s original, heritage-listed, modernist brick building designed by Charles Fulton in the 1930s – with its brickwork and detailing (banded brickwork featuring ‘box’ and ‘arc’ forms). 

    FTA_Ambrose_046.jpgThe colour palette matures with the transition of precincts

    Also influenced by the curved components of the Edmund Rice Building, the architects designed the new buildings to curve around a number of significant trees on site, embracing the natural environment as a focal point. 

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    FTA_Ambrose_014.jpgThe project is built along a very defined ridge on the site surrounded by flood plain and the Brisbane River itself. The ridge line is home to huge eucalyptus protected by Brisbane City Council

    This design decision to build around the trees mandated the introduction of special roof and gutter systems that would reduce leaf litter – previously a major problem of the site. As a result, the chosen roof forms direct rainwater to the outer edge of the curve, with a lowered raked gutter and Japanese style funnel rainwater system.

    The library similarly has roof forms with mansard capped steel sheeting, which prevents leaf litter from clogging the gutters. 

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    The vibrant colours featured on the buildings’ exteriors are continued internally to create a bold and playful learning environment. Finishes were selected based on two key criteria: their appropriateness to a school environment, including durability and low maintenance, as well as their depth of colour and how well they facilitate the application of the big, bold colours. 

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    The project also includes significant civil works, including interim upgrades to adjacent intersections, 95 new carparking bays and a new student drop off point.

    PRODUCTS

    ROOFING
    BLUESCOPE LYSAGHT, KLIPLOK 700 HIGH STRENGTH IN COLOUR, WITH MANSARD CAPPING WHERE ROOF IS FOLDED

    EXTERNAL WALLS
    AUSTRAL BRICKS, PRECISION RANGE IN ‘PAPRIKA’
    AUSTRAL BRICKS, METALIX RANGE IN ‘EMERY’ (FEATURE BANDING)
    JAMES HARDIE WALL & FLOOR PRODUCTS, EXO TEC FAÇADE PANELS WITH PREFINISHED GUARDIAN INFINITO A10 FACTORY APPLIED PAINT FINISH
    JAMES HARDIE WALL & FLOOR PRODUCTS, EASYLAP PANELS WITH GUARDIAN INFINITO A10 FACTORY APPLIED PAINT FINISH
    GJAMES, 475 SERIES GLAZING SYSTEM WITH LAMINATED SAFETY GLASS AND ALUMINIUM COMPOSITE PANELS WITH POWDER-COAT FINISH

    EXTERNAL DECKING
    FUTUREWOOD, CLEVERDECK COMPOSITE TIMBER DECKING

    FLOORING
    GERFLOR, TARALAY PREMIUM CONTRACT VINYL FLOORING
    ALTRO SAFETY FLOORING, STRONGHOLD REDUCED SLIP VINYL FLOORING
    HYCHEM INTERNATIONAL, GP EPOXY FLOORING
    INTERFACE, CARPET TILES FROM THE PLATFORM, MONOCHROME AND ON LINE COLLECTIONS

    INTERIOR FINISHES
    ROCKCOTE ENTERPRISES, ECOSTYLE PAINT SYSTEMS
    AUTEX, VERTIFACE ACOUSTIC WALL FABRICS

    Key Info

    Architect: Fulton Trotter Architects

    Client: Edmund Rice Education Australia

    Completed: January 2016

    Total project cost: $13.5 million

    Gross floor area: 2,100sqm

    Cost per sqm: $3,200

    Builder: Herron Coorey

    Civil Engineer: Cardno

    Landscape architect: Jeremy Ferrier Landscape Architects

    Structural: Bligh Tanner

    Electrical and Mechanical: Ashburner Francis

    Hydraulic: MRP Engineers

    Town planner: Reel Planning

    Traffic engineer: PTT

    Words: Geraldine Chua

    Photography: Alicia Taylor Photography

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