Peninsula Grammar ‘Alatus’ School

The Peninsula Grammar Innovation and Learning Centre, Atalus, is a timber building designed by fjcstudio to seamlessly blend with its coastal surroundings while housing a high-tech learning environment.

  • area / size 16,469 sqft
  • Completed 2020
  • Location Melbourne, Australia,
  • This beautiful timber building is designed to sit in harmony with its coastal location, creating a natural environment in contrast to the high tech learning within. The Peninsula Grammar Innovation and Learning Centre, Alatus, houses a creative learning and technology hub, which focus on robotics, coding, creativity and individual research. The building nestles into the surrounding terrain, blending with the native trees and landscape.

    A sustainable construction of timber with high-performance glass and louvered fa├žade, provides depth and shade, casting shadows as the sun moves across the sky, in this stunning and contemporary space to learn.

    Drawing its references from the land, the building captures the identity of the campus through its application of natural materials. Atalus provides contemporary pedagogical spaces within a sustainable environment, constructed primarily of exposed mass timber and timber facade shading elements. Timber is used to created depth, shade and play of shadows to north elevation providing a textural backdrop to adjacent native trees and landscaping.

    The timber clad building nestles into the landscape, overlooking the main cricket oval at a scale and mass that responds to existing built context while still providing a clear and present connection with its surrounding landscape and tree canopy. Timber is used to help define the structural expression of the building and inherently, through the timber and finish selection, along with careful detailing, it provides a tactile and approachable, warm building.

    The two level timber building sensitively responds to its environment and creates strong links to the middle school commons. The view amongst the surrounding tree canopy is typical of all first floor views from the building. A state of the art 162 seat presentation space, a double height gallery, 9 flexible learning commons and multiple maker spaces form this new iconic building.

    Structure and services are all expressed at lower level spaces and used as a teaching tool to showcase to student how a building is put together and how they are serviced. Single length timber sections were sourced and carefully selected for custom blade profile. Stainless steel vertical bracing rod detail was developed to control timber blade twisting and movement.

    Designed to generate an environment that pursues the notion of learning, it creates a sense of cohesion and identity for the school. The integration of a Technology Hub, including robotics, coding, creativity and research, is a natural progression for a school that strives for academic excellence.

    Design: fjcstudio
    Photography: John Gollings