Ivanhoe Grammar Senior Years & Science Centre, Australia / by McBride Charles Ryan

The brief for this new school building included a variety of general learning areas, provision for the senior year teachers and a science centre. The circular shaped plan had an appropriate civic quality based on the school’s original masterplan. However, rather repeating the circular pattern inside, the designers chose to use geometry and colour to define the central courtyards, light wells and learning spaces. The sharp angles and vivid colours of the interior form a dramatic contrast with the round form and muted tones of the drum-like outer structure.

At key entry points, the drum is ‘eroded’ to reveal the wonders of science and learning expressed through this vibrant design. Per was delighted by the surprise of the coloured inner spaces as revealed through these openings, and went on to say: “I think that what fascinates me – and what makes it a winner – is that this project is obviously about colour from the start.” The designers were inspired by the idea of an eggshell hiding an inner core, and by kaleidoscopes, where a view inside reveals seemingly infinite combinations of colour and pattern. Karen appreciated this approach, saying: “It does look like an egg and when you break it open, there’s this jewel of colours in the middle.

The contrast evident in the building’s language encapsulates contemporary methods for a well-rounded education. The classic circular form represents the order and certainty of knowledge, while the building’s expressive and complex inner world represents the uncertainty of modern life and scientific understanding, and the necessity of wonder and imagination to see us through. Zlatko praised the accurate response of the design to its context as a school building, combining the serious with the playful. Morag also noted the building’s effectiveness in its particular location, stating: “I think that it works in the context of Australia, where there’s bright sunshine. For kids, it must be brilliant.”

About McBride Charles Ryan
MCR has one passion – providing exceptional design for their clients. MCR’s commitment to provide their clients with innovative solutions, technical excellence and personal and professionalism has generated a steady growth in the reputation of the architecture firm since 1988.

MCR has successfully managed projects with budgets of up to $1B, combining complex architectural form with the finest construction technique and the most demanding programs. MCR has experience in many areas, having undertaken and realised work in all sectors, and this has been recognised by a variety of awards.

McBride Charles Ryan prides itself in its hands-on approach to its projects and believe that it’s buildings are bespoke manifestations of the clients’ vision and it is due to this approach that MCR’s designs are truly singular.

For more information: www.mcbridecharlesryan.com.au/#/projects/ivanho…