The brief called for a multi-purpose building for a school coexisting with Queanbeyan's oldest surviving church: the 1850s-built St Gregory's Church. Funding under the Building the Education Revolution (BER) program provided a unique opportunity to create a lasting structure for the school.
St Gregory's Catholic School Hall was sited directly adjacent to the heritage church, allowing key elements of the church to spatially define the new building. This reinforced the contributions made by the church to the site and its surrounds.
The hall is simplified into two forms - sports within a large volume and non-sports within a smaller volume.
The design retains the increased street setback at the church curtilage, with the bulk of the building shifted towards the street to minimise the area taken from the sports ground. This shift is emphasised by the changing materiality of the two forms, from a solid stone cladding to the smaller volume which relates to the stone church and a crisp black shiny aluminium clad glass box for the larger volume.
The street setback to the stone box aligns with the church while the width of the stone section of the hall matches that of the church.
A perfect square courtyard was created of dimensions equalling the length of the church. The height of the new building matches the height of the walls of the church.
At the same time, the height of the bell tower to the new building matches the height of the church roof ridge. A link was created from the church porch to the main entry of the hall with a cobblestone path.
The design also employs several strategies to achieve a sustainable built outcome. A breathing external skin changes in configuration depending on the orientation, season and desired comfort level for the user. To the south, high and low-level operable louvres allow cross ventilation.
To the north and east, the entire façade is a composition of operable double-glazed and timber-clad walls to allow an extension of the space to the playground. This helped to achieve the requirement of accommodating students from both campuses at a single sitting in the building.
RAIA (ACT) Architecture Awards Canberra Medallion 2012
RAIA (ACT) Romaldo Giurgola Award for Public Architecture 2012
AIRPORT DOORS PANEL LIFT DOUBLE GLAZED DOORS
TIMBER SPORTS FLOOR
ALUCOBOND ARCHITECTURAL, METAL PANELS