VISION Issue 48 - Page 22

VISION 48 — GUIDING LIGHT While real sustainability goes well beyond Green Star ratings you have put great emphasis on locally-sourced materials in that supply chain life, from cradle to grave. We were very, very, focused on Australian suppliers and even closer, local suppliers such as Viridian. We selected materials with low embodied energy in their production, with a long lifespan and so the whole life cycle costing. The building itself is designed around sustainable design practices. The orientation, overhangs, natural cross ventilation and so on. It was designed from the ground up on passive design principles and from the design and supply-chain of sustainable products. How do you hope it will be experienced by the passing parade of motorists and pedestrians? We had a very challenging brief needing to distil three aspects into the brief, but at the forefront was the need to deliver upon good urban design principles. We needed robustness in the public realm fronting onto a main and side road. We need to engage motorists in a different way to pedestrians. The transparency at that pedestrian level is also wonderful because you actually engage directly with the teaching and learning. Some projects are torturous, others occur organically. How was the experience with this project? The design process was quite cathartic. The school was so engaged with design ownership from the start. We knew we were going to deliver and we knew the success from the first time we rolled out our drawings from the first sketch. It’s one of those lovely projects that every architect experiences. Every five or six projects one of these come along and you just know it was meant to be how it ends up, because it actually distils everything we envisaged. It’s testament to the strong bonds in the relationships formed at the start of a project. “We were very, very, focused on Australian suppliers and even closer, local suppliers such as Viridian. We selected materials with low embodied energy in their production, with a long lifespan...” GARRY THOMPSON, ARCHITECT