The Mt Lawley Senior High School Year 7 Building + Music Centre project formed part of the WA State Governments initiative to accommodate year 7 students into high school
A strategy, proposed by the architects, was adopted to use the new building for Year 9 thus creating space for the new year 7s to collocate with Year 8s in the existing middle school buildings.
The new building design responds to a more senior student population, and it is located to act as a transition from middle school to senior school. The buildings’ planning is a derivative of standard classroom block designs, with a central circulation spine servicing perimeter classrooms.
The new central area was enhanced to be an extension of the classroom adding flexibility and making efficient use of the space.
Large sliding doors open the classrooms into this zone which allows for private study, group work and additional teaching areas.
The buildings’ form, references the existing campuses aesthetic: red face brickwork, fully glazed entry facades and shaped, brightly coloured parapet walls.
The design varies with the introduction of shaped, folded metal roof forms that merge into walls, returning inside as a physical and visual link to the outside. Additionally WA artist Anne Neil with young Aboriginal artist Noelene Hamlett developed an artwork scheme to celebrate the Aboriginal and Chinese partnerships the school has fostered. The artwork integrates with the building fabric through the use of coloured glazed bricks in symbolic and representational cultural images as a permanent and lasting tribute.
The main entry to the building is through a southern facing, open and expansive forecourt area, paved to connect with the existing campus. Softly landscaped with raised limestone retained planting beds doubling as seating, this multi-use, flexible space is utilised by students and teachers for outside learning, lunch and recess and for functions and performances.
The new facility includes a number of sustainability initiatives including a 5000L rainwater storage tank for toilet flushing, a 10KW photovoltaic array, solar hot water, high R-value insulated wall construction to reduce heat load, Greensense energy monitoring system and low maintenance landscape solutions.