Context, community and technology were key drivers in the redevelopment of the State Heritage listed Charles Todd Building for Adelaide High School. JPE Design Studio challenged the traditional school style to develop a connected and inspiring community model with strong internal and external linkages, encouraging free thought and breathing life into the entire school. Spaces have been designed to promote flexibility, a variety of social and learning opportunities, and technology interfaces that respond to the school’s vision for innovative and future-focused learning.
The Charles Todd Building renovation and extension includes new teaching spaces, science labs, a study hub inclusive of flexible and clustered independent learning spaces and a resource hub, a drama studio, art studio, Languages and Mathematics learning communities and a rooftop social and gathering space for the Year 12s, named Cloud 12 by the students themselves.
A State Heritage and iconic project, JPE Design Studio worked very closely and collaboratively with DECD, DPTI, Adelaide High School and the Managing Contactor to sensitively resolve the project brief and the staged delivery of this project. The multi-disciplinary approach to the architecture, interior and landscape design results in a seamless response to the school’s functional needs and addresses the social engagement and community aspects which are central to the school’s philosophy.
Unique qualities of the school have been integrated into the design including the moto of the school ‘not only for school but for life’ being expressed and rebated into the internal pre cast wall in morse code. The school colours of black and white inform the base palette of materials with timber continuing its school tradition to provide warmth and texture. Detail and craftsmanship reflect the qualities of the existing buildings but with today’s materials and technology.
The design of the primary student plaza interprets the rich history of the land’s former use as Adelaide’s first meteorological research station, following an archaeological dig which unveiled the remnants of the site’s original building, including slabs of local granite used to stabilise the research facility’s equipment.
The Charles Todd Building is a contemporary response to the art deco style of the school. It offers a modern interpretation of the long horizontal windows and sunshades that characterise the State Heritage listed original building complex.
Rapid changes in pedagogical practices, learning technologies, environmental awareness and social expectations are having a profound impact on the design of schools. The Charles Todd Building responds to this and provides spaces that can adapt over time and respond to advancments in technology and future learning. This award winning project has delivered a responsive, sustainable and technology rich learning facility that is well equipped to promote and facilitate innovative education for its occupants well into the future.