Located on Cairns’ northern beaches, the Newman Catholic Secondary College looks to account for an influx of students moving to the region, providing them with a first-rate educational space located on James Cook University’s Smithfield Campus.
Designed by TPG Architects, the college is recognised as the first Catholic secondary school to be located on a university campus in Australia. Built over four levels, the vertical structure comprises a number of premium educational amenities, including a Multipurpose Hall on the second level and a rooftop science precinct.
The building’s facade is an emulsion of concrete, brick and steel, with a number of openings giving students and staff a view of the green spaces outside. Each area of the school is clearly stated through TPG’s thorough implementation of wayfinding, with the learning spaces inviting both collaboration and isolated study, as well as spaces that account for the needs of modern pedagogy. The classrooms are well lit and warm, with a number of intrusions in the ceiling allowing for an abundance of natural light.
A pedestrian concourse on the first level opens into a large vertical commons overlooking the nearby rainforest and Atika Creek with a strong programme in music and drama. The first stage will incorporate a Multipurpose Hall with stage holding 1300. A music and drama studio will open out onto a 200 seat tiered seating stair that rises through the central commons.
On track to open later this year, the Newman Catholic Secondary College sits upon the host’s campus comfortably, without intruding upon the tertiary spaces. The design by TPG is an exercise in contemporary educational design, giving students and staff the space they need to perform at their utmost from Monday to Friday.