School utilises architecture to modernise - becomes a standout

St Vincent’s College, Potts Point has recently finished a refurbishment to its Block B buildings, improving the circulation between classrooms and adding an all-weather outdoor space. The new addition, designed by ThomsonAdsett Architects, features open walkways overlooking a covered breezeway, which has a modern aesthetic featuring glass and concrete, contrasting to the heritage façade it is connected to. The overall result is an impressive construction, improving the functionality of these once disconnected buildings, whilst being sympathetic to its heritage features.

A modern breezeway, creating a seamless transition
A modern breezeway, creating a seamless transition

The design incorporates louvered glass walls creating a breezeway, transforming a once dark and neglected area of the building into a bright airy, all weather space for students to enjoy during their class breaks. Holmes Fire played a key role in the realisation of this architectural vision, using a performance based approach to justify omission of sprinklers to much of the breezeway, the use of natural ventilation instead of mechanical smoke exhaust and the use of a glass feature stair for egress.

Projects such as this, where there is a connection between an existing structure and a new structure will very rarely be able to meet the Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions without compromising the design, and the custom, performance based approach that Holmes Fire provides enables the design intent to be maintained whilst still providing suitable levels of fire safety. The result is a design that will satisfy the necessary safety standards, meet both the client and architect’s expectations, and be practical and cost effective to construct.

Read more about the project here.