Damascus Centre, St Paul’s High School, Booragul

Stage 1: Masterplan

The facilities at St Paul’s High School have been added to over many years and the school numbers have outgrown classroom space. This project involved a facility study and audit across the entire school site to highlight deficiencies and opportunities for improvement. Based on the results and information sourced from staff, parents and students we prepared a 5-stage master plan that will considerably improve and add functionality, accessibility and spatial requirements across the school site.

Stage 2: Trade Training Centre

The new Trade Training Centre at St Paul’s High School, Booragul comprises of a new Hospitality Building and a new Construction Building.

The Hospitality building includes a Certificate 3 commercial kitchen, a Certificate 1 kitchen, preparation room and function room. The Construction Building includes a large indoor work area, secure covered outdoor work area, change room, and store rooms.

Stage 3: Damascus Centre

The Damascus Centre is a contemporary learning facility that repositions the library at the heart of the school. A core project that provides a new student hub and podium level to improve student and staff amenity. As the next stage of development in a school constructed in the 1980’s, the Damascus centre goes beyond the immediate building brief and seeks to address broader contextual and planning issues by improving equitable access and general circulation around the school site. Responding to the existing built fabric, the faceted façade seeks to integrate the awkward Block D geometry and affect the new tiered amphitheatre. The External program offers a platform to address the main school courtyard with tiered seating, while defining new courtyard zones.

Internally the ground level incorporates a modern resource centre, student hub, staff support areas and meeting rooms. The upper level has seven flexible GLA spaces and three meeting alcoves. Circulation zones have been carefully considered to allow occupants informal spaces to congregate and interact with one another.

Natural ventilation strategies are engaged to minimise air-conditioning demand and increase user activation. The air-conditioning system is designed to supplement the ceiling fans, its operation is controlled by temperature sensors, relieving the electrical consumption. A ventilation stack linking library and circulation areas via automated louvre systems allows, double loaded GLA spaces and common areas to be cross ventilated. Other sustainable initiatives include environmentally sensitive landscaping, watered by an existing rainwater collection system, and extensive sun-shading to the northern and western facades.

The Damascus Centre was a collaborative effort with all aspects of the design been developed concurrently with the consultants as a result St Paul’s High School now enjoys enhanced accessibility and connectivity while providing a modern hub of learning facilities in the heart of the school.

Location: Booragul, NSW
Status: Completed 2015
Services Provided: Concept Design, Schematic Design; Design Development and Documentation, CC Documentation, consultant Coordination, Tender Documentation, Tendering, Project Management
Photographer: Andy Warren

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