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Awards, BVN Stories, News — July 1, 2024

Evolving education: St Patrick's College Scientia Building wins AIA NSW Educational Architecture Award

The future of learning looks bright, especially when viewed from the ‘versatile verandahs’ of St Patrick’s College Scientia Building that has been honoured with the William E Kemp Award for Educational Architecture at the Australian Institute of Architects NSW Chapter Awards held on Friday 28 June 2024.

As well as providing a new front door to the historic campus, the Scientia Building celebrates student-centred learning environments, the importance of community and the site’s natural and physical features.

Co-CEO and Principal, Ali Bounds.

Video by Tom Roe

Scientia takes an outside-in approach to reimagining education opportunities where open air spaces blur the line between formal and informal learning and teaching. BVN has been commended for advancing a ‘design ethos that prioritises flexibility and adaptability, catering to diverse educational needs and future uses’.

The awards’ jury noted the Scientia Building at St. Patrick School as strategically positioned within the campus grounds and as a simple yet striking volume characterised by windows on all sides, ensuring natural ventilation and a seamless connection to the surrounding environment.

“Promoting an innovative pedagogical approach, the building's layout accommodates various learning styles, with flexible zones for cross-curricular workshops and small-group study. Classrooms and laboratories seamlessly connect with central learning spaces and versatile verandahs.

“Emphasising the importance of outdoor education, the Scientia Building features numerous outdoor learning areas, further enriching the educational experience. A unified facade treatment with folded sunshading elements enhances the building's aesthetics and maximises transparency.

“The design optimises access to daylight, fresh air, and views, enhancing the classroom atmosphere and overall learning experience. The podium level of the building capitalises on the site's natural features, offering an array of amenities such as an undercover outdoor gathering space, canteen, café, and dining area. Additionally, the signature tiered grandstand overlooking Breen Oval adds a distinctive feature to the architectural landscape, serving as a focal point for both academic and social activities.” – AIA NSW Awards Jury

Congratulations to the project team, our client and collaborators on this significant award and our thanks to the jury for their considered deliberations. AIA NSW’s Educational Architecture Category is proudly supported by Bondor.

St Patrick’s College in Strathfield is located on the traditional lands of the Wangal clan of the Darug people.

Explore more of the project more here.

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