VISION Issue 48 - Page 6

VISION 48 — GUIDING LIGHT ‘Optimistic’ architecture is a subjective quality but one worth pursuing when it comes to education. Feelings of connectedness, opportunity and hope are all possible in an atmosphere where design does its job. Interestingly, Y2 took its cues not merely from the program at hand, but referenced one of the greats in the search for a design solution. They found it in Le Corbusier’s masterwork at Ronchamp Chapel in the French countryside – 16,487kms and 67 years away from this small parish school in Ashburton, Melbourne. St. Michael’s Primary reveals jewel-like elements in its glittering, light-filled addition to this school of 240 students. Y2 Architecture’s homage to Corbusier’s best-ever building, pays off handsomely with this multi-faceted learning wing. An understanding of daylight as a sculptural element is key to the serious business of playful design. In an era of open and kinder education this new building opens to the outside world but, equally, is fully connected within. Large sliding glass doors between classrooms across two levels and adjustable, operable windows are distinct clues to this new teaching and learning model. Fully flexible and light-filled, Y2‘s design isn’t all expanse or revelation. There’s also enclosure with areas for retreat and rest via a series of study pods or perches. Modelled on the idea of the tree-house, the building provides eight classrooms – theoretically expandable into two huge single volumes – or the more commonly used separate rooms. A circulation zone and locker area on the south runs across two levels and is serviced by a staircase at either end. PROJECT St. Michael’s Parish School, Ashburton, Victoria ARCHITECTS Y2 Architecture PRINCIPAL GLAZING Viridian Double Glazed Unit using EnergyTech™ Clear EnergyTech™ Clear (6mm)ComfortPlus™ Clear (10.38mm) SpectraPrism™ Ruby Red & Custom Colours SpectraSeraphic™ Custom Colours LuminaMist™ Clear TEXT, IMAGES & FILM Peter & Jenny Hyatt