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as collaboration partner to Open Architecture Studio
State High School for
Queensland Department of Education with
F.K. Gardner & Sons (FKG)
Coomera, Queensland, Australia
Phase 2 completed January 2022
Team mentorship and coordination
Design development with client
Foxwell State Secondary College is one of many greenfield primary and secondary schools being rolled out by the Queensland Government for the fast growing Gold Coast suburb of Coomera. Our principal joined Open Architecture Studio as senior collaboration partner for both Phase 1 and Phase 2.
The concept design for Phase 2 was again prepared by Thelander Architecture with Ridgemill as project managers. FKG was the successful tenderer for both phases and once again invited Open Architecture Studio (Open) to serve as architect for the Design and Construct contract. Open would be responsible for the detailed design development of the original design, implementing design changes, and value engineer the design.
Thelander used the design principals and detailing established by Open in the redesigned Phase 1, thereby achieving a cohesive campus. Phase 2 consists of the senior learning precinct, Performing Arts Centre, kinesiology laboratory and gymnasium. The senior learning precinct includes general classrooms, teaching kitchens, a small restaurant, workshops (metalwork, woodwork, pottery, design), laboratories (physics, chemistry, robotics) and a lecture theatre.
One significant design change was the addition of a secondary senior entrance, complete with new entrance piazza and canopy roof. This allowed senior students direct access to their precinct on arrival at the campus, but also allowed direct and separate access to the sports oval and Performing Arts Centre. This allows the college to share these facilities with the community without compromising the security of the learning precincts and offers the opportunity to earn revenue from the facilities.
The Performing Arts Centre was also skilfully redesigned by project architect Leigh Wilkens, providing an appropriate public entrance and foyer linked to the entrance piazza, and improving its functionality for community use.
With a close relationship already established in Phase 1, these changes were developed in close cooperation with the principal and her leadership team.
Another significant design development change was the redesign of the stair towers. Phase 1 largely made use of fully enclosed stair towers which can be dark and isolated and we wanted to improve on this. By separating the stair towers from the classroom fabric and positioning it 6m away along the courtyard, it was possible to introduce windows, allowing natural light and ventilation into the towers and allow viewing of the courtyard from the stair landings. Perforated metal screening provided both transparency and a sense of security to these escape and circulation routes.
The distinctive "cheese grater" shading devices were again employed along the courtyard facades. They strike a balance between transparency (from the breezeways out) and privacy (from the courtyard in) and offers excellent ventilation, sun screening and weather protection. They also double as full height fall protection.
The completed Foxwell campus shows what can be achieved with a standard state school brief and budget, when a passionate design team, passionate professional team, passionate builder and passionate end user work together. We are immensely proud of this project and our continued collaboration with Open Architecture Studio.
OAS TEAM: Chapman Leijenaar (Sr Collaboration Partner); Leigh Wilkens (Project Architect); Felia Hanifa; Marissa Wathern
PROFESSIONAL TEAM: Structural Engineer: Northrop Consulting Engineers; Certifier: Buildit Group; Mechanical Engineer: Davies Climate control; Hydraulic Engineer: Platinum Hydraulic Design; Electrical Engineer: BSI Projects; Landscape Architect: JFP Urban Consultants; Civil engineer: vT Consulting Engineers
CONTRACTOR: F.K. Gardner
PHOTOGRAPHS: aerial photos by FKG; other by Chapman Leijenaar