#5 / 14 Leura Street, Nedlands, Western Australia; t: +61 (8) 9386 4615; e: studio@mcdfarchitects.com.au

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PLC Beth Blackwood Senior School & Quad     

Completed 2016

An imperative of our masterplanning at PLC has been that development take place without any significant reduction in open space. This has been achieved by keeping building footprints to the minimum, maximizing height, and selectively infilling around or replacing buildings to make efficient use of space. These principles were applied in full to our most recent project for a new Senior School and reimagining of the Quad.

The major formal elements of the Beth Blackwood Senior School draw from others on site but interpret them in new ways. The tartan glazing motif explored in previous builds is reimagined as folded, three dimensional, steel framed, glass sunscreening protecting north facing windows. Internally, a tertiary style environment has been designed to encourage independent study. Double and triple volume spaces with a university feel are provided and these spaces, particularly the main open stair running through four storeys presented BCA and structural challenges the team worked together to resolve.

The Quad has been lowered and expanded to better connect it at grade to the adjoining buildings and Cafeteria. It retains the central grass area iconic to PLC and surrounds it with circulation and gathering spaces reinforcing its focal role on the campus. The new Senior School and Quad at PLC provides a combination of new and refurbished spaces that create exciting linkages between existing buildings and open areas. By maximizing efficient use of space the new building has met the client’s needs for a flexible and contemporary education environment.

The PLC Beth Blackwood Senior School and Quad was judged best Landscape and Outdoor Learning Area at the 2017 Learning Environments Australasia Educational Facilities Awards.