CAROLINE CHISHOLM COLLEGE ADMINISTRATION
YEAR COMPLETED: 2017
LOCATION: BRAYBROOK, VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA
PHOTOGRAPHY: PETER CLARKE
"Early on in the design process the client identified that; too often, femininity is wrongly linked with a notion of fragility.
The idea of breaking down this misconception quickly became the central driver to the design of the project as we worked together to create a building that was inherently feminine - beautiful but not frail, elegant and strong"
The New Administration Building at Caroline Chisholm Catholic College’s girls campus pays tribute to Femininity and its vast, often divergent attributes. Built as a ‘face’ for the Christ The King campus, the building is designed to be an object that the female students can relate to on a conceptual level as a pronounced reminder of their own identities as young women.
“We must keep both our femininity and our strength.”
― Indra Devi
Early on in the design process the client identified that; too often, femininity is wrongly linked with a notion of fragility.
The idea of breaking down this misconception quickly became the central driver to the design of the project as we worked together to create a building that was inherently feminine - beautiful but not frail, elegant and strong.
Boldly thrust towards the front of the site, sitting proudly in the foreground of the existing school buildings, the New Administration Building engages confidently with the street and broader community, announcing the College’s identity and symbolising its attitudes towards the important roles that women play within Caroline Chisholm Catholic College and our society in general.
The outer shell of the building is concrete, strong and resilient in materiality but finely detailed with an imprinted triangle relief pattern giving the hard, raw material a specific softness and sophistication. It is a standing reminder to the students that you can be both delicate and robust, beautiful and brave.
The kinetic facade screen on the face of the building holds similar characteristics to the concrete. Decorative, detailed and deftly put together like a precious piece of jewellery, it can also appear like a malleable coat of armour, shrouding the front of the building providing protection and strength.
Made from steel, the screen - like the concrete - also projects a strength and resilience in materiality. However, each individual steel triangle is perforated to filter light and delicately fixed to its frame which allows the whole facade to sway gently in the breeze. This movement gives the building a constant but ever changing ripple.
Sunlight is reflected at different angles creating a sparkle externally similar to that of a precious stone. Inside, the light is altered, filling the space with dappled light, creating a calm and soft ambience within the building’s robust shell.