Ensuring our future generations get the best access to practical and inspiring facilities was a priority project commenced by a cluster of five schools in the South Western suburbs of Melbourne.
Emmanuel College Principal, Chris Stock, one of the driving forces behind this project along with four other principals, secured funding to provide purpose-built facilities on the Emmanuel College campus that provide an educational environment to give students access to practical engineering skills to a high level within their own school environment.
“The modern education process is seeing a return to developing practical, hands-on abilities that lead to gaining jobs in clearly defined technical areas and help to build a skilled future workforce,” says Principal Stock. “It’s very important to us at Emmanuel College that we are able to provide excellence in education, and these facilities allow us to create a space of learning for our students that exposes them to the best of modern technology combined with experienced teachers delivering the latest techniques.”
Janina Goethel of Watson Young Architects was given the task of delivering a finished trade training centre within a fixed budget of $1.4 million that provided an educational space with lots of natural light and that accommodated the specific technical requirements needed for an electro-technical college facility.
“We chose PERMAROCK Cement Board Outdoor System because of its light weight design, its waterproof characteristics, durability and because it allows us to be able to extend the building in the future easily, while maintaining design continuity and a quality finish.” – Janina Goethel, Lead Architect
The finished building incorporates three classrooms. The main space is a large room that houses machinery, pipes and workbenches for the practical training sessions. In addition, there is a computer lab and a multi-purpose classroom that can be divided into smaller spaces for presentations and other teaching requirements.
“One of the biggest difficulties with this project was ensuring that we get a lot of natural light into the classrooms without having a detrimental effect on the computer screens and technical teaching,” says Janina. “Low-level glazing wasn’t going to work for this space so we used a lot of high-level glazing that avoids screen glare.”
Another consideration for the project was the fixed budget. Because the funds for the building were provided by a government grant there was no flexibility in financing so every consideration was given to material specification so that the highest level of functionality and flexibility was delivered within the limited budget.
Janina and her team chose Knauf PERMAROCK Cement Board Outdoor System wall cladding for the exterior of the building. Although PERMAROCK Cement Board Outdoor offers incredible design flexibility in its ability to be used on curves and other creative designs, this wasn’t a consideration for the Emmanuel College project.
“We chose PERMAROCK Cement Board Outdoor System because of its light-weight design, its waterproof characteristics, durability and because it allows us to be able to extend the building in the future easily, while maintaining design continuity and a quality finish.”
“This was part of the brief so it was an important part of the decision to use the PERM AROCK System. Another was the budget. This product offers the quality finish and design flexibility within the project budget.”
Magellan Projects, Geelong, delivered the finished project on time by the commencement of Term 1 in January 2014 and Principal Stock officially opened the new building in April 2014.
“We received great feedback from everyone at that official opening,” says Janina. “As a team we’re very happy to have delivered on the project brief and created a building that has great natural light, excellent acoustics and provides an innovative learning space that can adapt to future needs.”