With the amalgamation of two Armidale high schools, came the opportunity to create something that brought the whole community together, drawing on the past, to inspire the future.
Our work with Armidale Secondary College led to a 1580 student campus, designed around two core themes of shelter, and belonging. Taking its form from the need to protect students from harsh winds, and balance the desire for maximum sunlight in winter, and adequate shade in summer, the site plan uses an embracing arc, cradling a sun-drenched central plaza.
As a focal point for the community, it was important the college maintained its connection to the past, while championing its ambitions for the future.
Central to the site, and open to the community, we restored the 100-year-old Armidale High School building, housing the Performing and Creative Arts Facilities, while drawing on the natural colour palettes of the region.
Connection to Country was expressed through a nature walk and boardwalk over local wetlands, and the placement of a Yarning Circle, a part of an Agricultural Faculty, which also features state of the art farming and technical facilities.
Our highly collaborative design process has resulted in Armidale Secondary College being an inclusive, safe, and contemporary learning environment that engages with the Armidale environment and context. Its passive design, reuse of materials and repurposing an original building, help make it a project of high sustainability that will inspire belonging and nurture fresh ideas for generations to come.