Parade College Nash Learning Center

  • area / size 18,621 sqft
  • Completed 2017
  • Location Melbourne, Australia,
  • CHT Architects completed the design for the Parade College Nash Learning Center, the all-boys secondary school’s common area that features both communal private learning areas located in Melbourne, Australia.

    Tenete Traditionales, or “Hold fast the traditions”, the motto chosen to endow the Parade College emblem has been at the core of the school’s values and principles, embodied by the students and the faculty which have grown and evolved with the institution over its 147 year foundation.

    Located at the entry to the Parade College campus the learning hub is a symbol of school’s progressive pedagogy and adoption of technological into their teaching practice. The Nash Learning Centre has incorporated diverse, multi-mode learning spaces into its overall planning. The Hub focusses on common spaces with a mixture of communal desk space and private learning areas. There is a focus on light open spaces that are functional and stimulating learning environments.

    The existing campus is a robust brown brick modernist design. The new learning hub was a departure to the overarching architectural style and continuity of campus; almost the antithesis in color, materiality and design language. The modernist lines were replaced by arches as the concept focussed on creating an architecturally significant building, which was at the centre of the campus, reflecting of traditions of faith and community. The Learning Hub acts as a literally colonnade, typical of the architectural language traditionally employed for an educational or monastic campus. The colonnade directs the school community through it, with the spaces within the arch ways being able to be occupied as a Learning common.

    The built form of the colonnade reflects the traditions of the Christian Brothers educational history, it reflects the context of faith and traditional educational and monastic architecture. The Nash Learning Centre is located at the forefront of the school, it is a deliberate point of difference to the existing context being 1960’s chocolate brick, breaking the established context with its clean white built form. The juxtaposed built form is a point of pride displaying school’s identity of education and technology within architecture, the building acts as sign that the school is evolving. The arches promote a physical connection via entrances linking existing areas of the school as well as a visual connection to its setting through arches to treetops outside, a connection to the community through its prominent presence at the entrance of the school.

    The brief’s requirement was to respond in a traditional, architectural and a technological manner, adapting contemporary approaches to pedagogy through the separation and adaptation of the flexible spaces which were achieved through splits over two and a half levels. The arrangement of smaller private spaces to the perimeter consolidates the communal spaces and maintains visual links to the outside with the natural.

    There is a dichotomy of old and new split over the two main levels where traditional literature is located on Ground Level, where on Level 1, interactive multimedia is used and displayed on an array of touch screens within the Project Hub.

    Architect & DesignCHT Architects
    Contractor: Devco Project & Construction Management
    Photography: Rhiannon Slatter