St Michael’s Grammar School – The Gipson Commons
25 Chapel St, St Kilda VIC 3182, Australia
The Gipson Commons is the fusion of knowledge, science, food and recreation. At ground level, the building works seamlessly with the ground plane – revealing from the north a cafeteria space that is at one with the landscape. This is the true entry to the building. The connection with Redan Street to the south is far more subtle. St Michael’s did not want a building that was ostentatious; they wanted a building that sat comfortably within its residential context. The stairway to the upper levels marks the transition into more dedicated spaces for learning. The uppermost floors of the building are dedicated to a hybrid Science/Knowledge facility, where practical areas are defined by the need for specialist services and the interstitial space can be used in a myriad of ways. Reflective zones are generally located away from the social centre. The central atrium connects the specialist and general learning spaces, promoting ‘possibilities’ through varied and targeted use of space. This central space is the physical manifestation of ‘The Commons’ as an area that is used and enjoyed by all. The ‘spaces for possibilities’ metaphor was used by St Michael’s to describe their physical brief. The Balinese House was the architectural concept used to order the physical brief. Visually and acoustically screened pods provide an array of learning environments and opportunities – these are the possibilities.
Facilities: Toilets, Food and beverage available
Access: Pram accessible, Fully accessible
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