A close collaboration between Architect, Artist & Landscape Architect allowed a seamless integration and overall cohesiveness on a site that lacked identity & hierarchy.
The existing condition of the site shared by two growing schools felt hectic and disjointed from the ‘on demand’ way that the ad-hoc collection of buildings and spaces evolved, resulting in a lack of permanency.
On this site, a shared driveway separated the two schools, acting as a barrier between them. With the new Chapel situated at the end of this driveway an opportunity was presented to re-define the relationship and connection between the two schools through the landscape.
The main driveway, reborn as a commanding avenue of lime Gleditsia foliage leads your eye to the chapel forecourt, where meandering timber platforms create seating and gathering spaces as well as inform areas to spectate on the nearby sports courts.
An axis line running from the altar of the Chapel extends out from the building in the form of bluestone cobbles, it cuts through the forecourt pavement, the bell tower, and eventually slices into the road surface to affirm this directional focus.
Reflecting the gentle arcs in the Chapel’s Architecture, radiating arcs throughout the landscape paving treatment reach out, linking the Chapel forecourt with each school, intern bringing the two schools together, breaking down the divide that has existed on this site for so long
A large emphasis is based on connecting the indoor & outdoor spaces of the Chapel, the pavement materials penetrate into the building to inform the floor treatments and vice versa. When the Chapel facade opens, this continuity allows a large extension of the Chapel’s usable space outside whilst maintaining a feeling of being in one connected space.
Different pavement types, textures and materials aim to create directional flow, physical connection and nominate areas of active flow and passive social activity. A 3-way granite paving pattern defines the directional avenue through the forecourt. Bands of exposed aggregate concrete reach out to create physical connections between the 2 schools and the Chapel. Timber is used in pockets to define ‘slower’ moving areas for seating, social interaction and reflection. Adding to this, solid bluestone blocks extrude through the timber decking to create a tight network of seating and lounging platforms providing for more intimate social activity.
The planting scheme is dense, rich and fresh in colour to help rejuvenation a grey, cold environment. The purple of the Jacaranda flowers and Lavender beds are set off against the soft golden tones of the rammed earth walls and granitic gravel, while tufts of green aim to soften screen and shelter select areas within the site.
To the south of the building, shallow lawn terraces reflect a kink in the copper building facade. The terraces gradually step down and encapsulate the a small reflection space which sits beneath the umbrella of a Ginkgo (Maidenhair) tree.
Timber - Yellow Stringy Bark
Solid Bluestone Blocks
xposed Aggregate Concrete
Off-form White Concrete