Almost 6000 tiles from Monier Wunderlich were used on the roof of a newly built school facility in Wahroonga, NSW.

Established in 1924, Knox Grammar School, situated in Sydney's leafy north shore has long been regarded as one of the state's leading and most respected independent schools.  

The new Great Hall and Aquatic Centre at the Knox Grammar School was built as part of a Master Plan by the School Council, which included a comprehensive building program that would see the school construct new amenities, upgrade existing buildings and modernise a range of facilities to meet the expectations of an increasingly sophisticated student population, and the broader school community.  

It was important for any new development at Knox Grammar to reflect the school’s core values, traditions and most importantly its architectural heritage, a key consideration adopted by Jones Sonter Architects when designing the school’s new 'Great Hall and Aquatic Centre'.  

Gonzalo Gonzalez, head architect on the project describes the overriding architectural style of the campus as Scottish Baronial, dating back to the 14th century. The challenge for the architects was to interpret and integrate this historical architectural style into a modern commercial structure that would house a multipurpose 2,500 seat auditorium, 50-metre competition swimming pool, a purpose-built ‘Learn to Swim’ pool and a weights room/gymnasium.  

The design merged the expansive auditorium and pool area to a 'Grand Entrance Foyer and Portico' to provide a sympathetic connection to the architectural style of the existing structures on the site, and allow the various building products used in the construction to demonstrate their versatility.  

A key structural and design element of the building was the imposing roofline covering the entire entrance foyer, an area of over 430m² that extended the full length of the building. Pitched at 44 degrees, the roof balances perfectly above the glass, brick and sandstone façade, providing a visual cue that links the past to the present.  

Building contractor ADCO engaged CSR Roofing's construction division to coordinate the installation of almost 6,000 roof tiles in slate grey from the Wunderlich Nullarbor range, laid over a period of just 3 days, which also included the installation of insulation batts and sarking underlay. It was also decided to 'storm clip' every tile to ensure the roof’s longevity regardless of the weather conditions.  

Completed in September 2011, the Great Hall and Aquatic Centre fulfils the architect’s design objectives and meets the School Council’s expectations to provide a state-of-art facility that would be utilised and enjoyed by the entire school community for decades to come.