Awards recognise outstanding architectural design


​St Joseph’s College, Coomera, has been recognised for its sustainable
architectural design

IT was a night of wins for Brisbane Catholic Education and its project teams at this year’s Australian Institute of Architects’ Queensland Architecture Awards virtual presentation.

St Joseph’s College, Coomera, took home two prestigious awards while St Augustine’s College, Augustine Heights, new Senior Years Hub, got a mention and Holy Family School, Indooroopilly’s striking church won the prestigious Enduring Architecture Award at the annual awards.

Stage 1 of St Joseph’s College, a Prep to Year 12 college opened in 2019, received the State Award for Education Architecture and a Commendation for Sustainable Architecture on the night. 

This first stage of the five-stage masterplan included classrooms, assembly areas, staff areas and library, and establishes a high-quality built environment to reflect the school’s high ambitions for its students. 

Designed by Brisbane-based Macksey Rush Architects, the college was recognised for its use of scale, materials and access to open space.

The college was designed to work sustainably with the hilly 13-hectare site that sits between housing and semirural bushland 

Around 2.5 hectares has been retained as a regenerated koala habitat and wilderness education area that will eventually form part of the school’s curriculum. 

The jury, made up of renowned architects and academics from across the state, said while a common architectural language had been developed in Stage 1 at St Joseph’s College, each building type was given an appropriate hierarchy.

The large multipurpose and administration buildings that forms the entry, are public in nature.

A clever use of a common wide-span roof sheeting creates a striking first impression.

The material selection, including face brickwork, embody the principal’s desire that the college should offer a sense of permanency and safety to its students. 

Meanwhile the jury in the sustainable architecture award commended the college’s wh​olistic integration of education and the environment, from site diagram, through to electrical and mechanical strategy. 

“The extensive revegetation forms a backdrop to the site while integrated landscape and bio retention create a central spine pairing seasonal habitats with play,” the jury said. 

“Hardwearing and raw and prefinished material strategy prioritises integral durability negating the requirement for ongoing maintenance,” they said. 

This recognition speaks highly of how BCE and its project teams are perceived in the industry and is a positive contribution to the Coomera community that deserves recognition.

Holy Family School Principal John Robertson, who nominate Holy Family Church, said the school and parish community were delighted to hear their beloved church, which was going through a restoration program, had been recognised.

The church, designed by Brisbane architectural firm Douglas and Barnes and built between 1961 and 1963, was one of Australia’s finest examples of Modernist architecture.

From architectural and engineering perspectives, the design was extremely progressive for the time with a new method of concrete construction adopted to form the pleated concrete structure.​

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