John Curtin College of the Arts is a landmark school providing specialised curriculum, extension, and enrichment for gifted and talented Arts students and those identified as academically gifted.
Over 90% of the students admitted to the school on an annual basis gain entry through the gifted and talented program or the soccer excellence program. However, unlike other schools with a selective admission policy, the school is also obliged to admit students living in the local catchment area. John Curtin College of the Arts is committed to the development of creativity, innovation and imagination in every student through the pursuit of excellence in all areas of the formal and informal curriculum, with a special emphasis on the Arts.
The site for this building is located on a steeply sloping western side of the John Curtin College of the Arts site with outstanding views over Fremantle and the Indian Ocean beyond. In its first iteration the building design accommodates a series of general learning areas, two science laboratories, a series of dance facilities (to be converted to Science in the future) as well as staff facilities.
Once the full redevelopment of the school has been completed in the future, this building will be converted to provide a full science precinct for the school along with a suite of General learning areas and associated staff facilities.
Integral to the design of this building is its establishment of accessible and student orientated connections to a number of site levels whilst being mindful of the future development of surrounding buildings, including a music and dance facility. In order to maximize the value of space, due to the site gradient and the density of current building stock, this two storey building also creates usable and attractive north facing courtyards and decked verandahs ensuring accessibility and creating a valuable urban student environment.
The building is based on a simple 8m structural grid to avoid transfer slabs providing an efficient structural steel solution achieving the extremely modest project budget. Mass retaining walls were avoided throughout to resolve cost and importantly, waterproofing, avoiding excavation in an area which is known to have large quantities of limestone.
The west is typified by the extraordinary views of Fremantle which are captured through large windows protected by an integrated public art sunshading screen wrapping around the building.
The simple building framework is brought to life by the wonderful folded and perforated blue and silver aluminium screen, developed in conjunction with the project public artists which wraps itself around the building as well as providing the imprint to precast concrete cladding panels.
The screen components as 3 dimensional objects are also represented in the two dimensional perforations on adjacent aluminium panels, as imprints in the concrete, as silhouettes and as shadows which all change throughout the day and during different seasons.
Building Management and Works
90 Ellen Street Fremantle
Libby Guj, Glenn Russell, Eka Pujianto, Jackie Anderson, Nada Brock, Peter Van Geloven
Masterplanning, Schematic Design, Design Development, Contract Documentation, Contract Administration, Interior Design
Bruce Hoar, Building Management and Works, Bruce Hoar