We love the concept behind this uncommon senior grammar school located in Melbourne, Australia. The creative team at McBride Charles Ryan was commissioned by Penleigh and Essendon Grammar School (PEGS) to develop a space for 11th and 12th year students and you can see the result below: a project shaped like an infinity symbol. This allowed the architects to place two protected courtyards within the composition, offering healthy outdoor learning and relaxation spaces.
Tthe library and student learning center were both located at “the heart of the infinity“. The architects further explain that each wing has its own qualities, different from each other and yet seamlessly connected to the next: “This way the building acts as an embodiment of the journey of education, with less distinction of any prescribed boundaries between disciplines“. I never really saw the power of design as a motivational factor when it comes to studying. But I do believe some students here enjoy learning grammar a bit more than if taught in a common-looking school.
What is new and exciting now can quickly begin to look tired and out of fashion, so the best buildings don’t just consider what will be interesting to look at now, but also how it might look to people in five, fifty or even a hundred years’ time. 2013’s hotly contested RIBA Stirling Prize went to Witherford Watson Mann Architects for their work on Astley Castle, Warwickshire. In what RIBA Past President Stephen Hodder has described as an extreme retrofit, the project essentially saw a new building inserted subtly into the heart of the old, with a new, two storey residence now hidden within the sandstone walls of the ruins of this medieval castle, to be used as a holiday home for up to eight guests
The best architects can create designs which will give clients and the public things they didn’t even realise they wanted, and this is especially important when architects are given the difficult brief of creating structures in much-loved, iconic areas.