An impressive new facility at the Christian Brothers College in Adelaide will serve as the Centre for Innovation and Learning, with the design focussing on maximising natural light, ventilation and acoustics.

The College, which has a rich history that goes back to the 1800s, now includes the state-of-the-art Centre for Innovation and Learning on their senior campus. The bold geometric facade with striking patterned glazing on the new building represents the new face of 21st century education at this historic Adelaide college.

Behind the geometric facade, the Centre features an impressive range of facilities including a science centre with laboratories; ecological roof deck classroom and roof top garden; astronomy observatory with a motorised dome and high-quality telescope; art studios with digital creative suites; a large music rehearsal space with smaller practice rooms; and collaborative maker spaces and breakout study spaces.

The design by Swanbury Penglase prioritises using natural materials, maximising natural light, providing good acoustics and promoting fresh air. These design objectives were suitably addressed with the use of a selection of Alspec window and door framing products.

A two-level walkway constructed with Alspec Hunter Evo 150mm single flush glazed framing connects the new centre sensitively to the neighbouring heritage building. A highly popular product in the commercial environment for its straight cuts and flush glazed appearance, Hunter Evo is a versatile and flexible framing system. Ideal for gently curved or faceted frames, the Hunter Evo framing was also used to create the courtyard-facing facade featuring a soft curve.

Additionally, large music rehearsal spaces on the lower-level of the development required enclosures that would meet both acoustic and natural light requirements. The McArthur centre pocket framing was specified for this application with its robust construction and ability to accommodate a range of glass thicknesses to provide acoustic performance.

A range of doors was required across the build for external access and interior openings as well as providing a separation to spaces, which could be joined when needed into larger rooms. Alspec products used in these applications included Swan Evo 45mm commercial doors as bottom rolling sliding doors and hinged doors, which were used in conjunction with Hawkesbury top hung sliding doors.

Swan Evo doors are recommended for high use locations while the Hawkesbury doors are typically selected for larger openings or wheelchair compliant sills. Both doors feature excellent operational credentials and will provide enduring performance under the demands of daily use in an education environment.

Alspec products used in the project include Hunter Evo 150mm single flush glazed framing; Hawkesbury top hung commercial sliding doors; Swan Evo 45mm commercial shopfront doors; and McArthur 101.6mm centre pocket framing, all in a Dulux Basalt Matt finish.

Architect: Swanbury Penglase Architects
Photography: Sam Noonan