St Michael’s Collegiate Middle School, for years 5, 6, 7 and 8, is an urban high school campus in central Hobart; comprising a refurbished 1920s school building and a new three-storey classroom extension that acts as a hub, engaging and vibrantly connecting old and new.
Existing floor space was doubled by creating a new classroom wing and converting existing accommodation to larger, more open, contemporary learning environments.
The plan form of the addition breaks the dominant paradigm of classrooms arranged about corridors, creating an open learning environment with a democratic disposal of spaces to meet current teaching and learning processes – yet it is strongly connected to the existing heritage classroom elements.
In response to the need for contemporary, flexible teaching space, classrooms wrap around a central, divisible general purpose space, enlivening both. Classrooms are also divisible by operable walls for further flexibility within each teaching space.
On the lower ground floor, a sheltered canteen enlivens and connects the existing playground outside with circulation routes, stairs and a new lift inside.
Unashamedly contemporary, the new wing overtly expresses a new mode of learning, both functionally in its disposition of space, and formally in its architectural and sculptural expression.