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World Architecture Festival: Back To School

The 2012 World Architecture Festival will take place in Singapore this October.



BY jesse

July 23rd, 2012


The announcement, this week, of the finalists in the festival’s prestigious awards program, has served to highlight the diversity of Australian practices with work represented across myriad categories.

Though demonstrations of architectural excellence are by no means new to the local design community, the proliferation of Australian firms being recognised globally – for work carried out locally – reflects the maturation and perceived importance of the Australian design story, on the world stage.

One such project garnering plenty of attention is Allen Jack+Cottier’s (AJ+C) ’Kerrie Murphy Building’, which makes up part of the International Grammar School’s primary campus in Sydney, Australia.

A mixed-mode school building that employs adaptable, cross ventilation and draws on photovoltaic technology and natural lighting, as well as collecting all water for reuse, to reduce running costs

Whilst unquestionably ’green’ in its credentials, the building too, is structurally remarkable.

Responding to the precedence of large brick warehouses in the immediate vicinity, AJ+C have delivered an iconic structure that despite its pre-fabricated concrete slab façade, dotted with amoeba-like e-glass windows, still sits agreeably within its surroundings.

When integrating glass into the load-bearing fascia, the design team toyed with the plasticity and adaptability of the material, affording them a unique opportunity to make a bold design statement from the buildings raw materials.

“This brings a fantasy life to the building, making a statement about the fun and adventure that should be a part of every learning environment”, says AJ+C CEO and Principal Michael Heenan.

“It also helped us to create a building with the maximum levels of energy efficiency.”

With the awards handed out in early October, The Kerrie Murphy building is competing for the “School Design Award” against entrants from Japan, the United Kingdom, Spain, Taiwan, the United States and fellow Australian finalists: McBride Charles Ryan and Suters Architects.

World Architecture Festival
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