Aussie Architecture Awards 2008
The new creative arts building at Brisbane Girls Grammar School in Brisbane, Queensland, combines two contrasting halves into a dynamic whole. Public spaces and circulation are housed in the eastern wing of the Cherrell Hirst Creative Learning Centre, with its columns radiating in a distinctive K shape. The horizontally layered western wing contains flexible teaching spaces for art, music, drama, and technology. The two wings meet at a central atrium intended to foster social interaction and informal learning.
The Hirst Centre received one of the 2008 national architecture awards from the Australian Institute of Architects. Other projects receiving top-level awards include the Beijing Water Cube, a house inspired by the Klein bottle, and a rail car workshop revamped for the performing arts. A dog shelter kennel claimed the highest award for sustainable design, but across the categories, all top-tier honorees demonstrated degrees of sustainability.
Hirst Centre architects m3architecture designed the building to connect with the existing campus visually and spatially, providing additional usable open space. They also incorporated such sustainable features as passive solar design, insulation and thermal mass, cross-ventilation, onsite water management, and graywater recycling.
The awards jury praised the project as a vital, flexible learning environment with an "iconic character, surface treatment and dynamic forms" that contribute to the public domain.
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