Manresa Enrichment Centre

ST. IGNATIUS CATHOLIC SCHOOL, TOOWONG


The Manresa Enrichment Centre is a BER initiative that enabled an existing classroom block to be stripped back to its podium slab and re-constructed to house a new resource centre; and provide a seminar room/computer lab and senior GLA.  The project was the culmination of a masterplanning process involving consideration of the school’s heritage listing, equal accessibility, town planning, landscaping and educational issues.  

The library is positioned in its prominent location to enable the much sort after city views and northern aspect  to be enjoyed by all staff + students.  It has optional lift access and is linked to the adjacent buildings via an elevated covered bridge.  Positioned at the end of Grove Cresent, the building presents a new contemporary face for the school while being respectful of the red brick and tile aesthetic that dominates the site.   This comfortable abuttment between the old new is reinforced by the design scale and sympathetic material palette, including terracotta cladding, off-form concrete and sheet metal. 

Both the Library and classroom are designed for natural ventilation.  The library features a raised roof area that not only encourages natural light all year round but also achieves a double height mezzanine space, creating a double height ‘wall of books’.  This wall was designed to surround the children with books, while creating intimate spaces to read and gather. The internal spatial arrangements are organised to stimulate learning and both sensory and imaginary exploration, evident in the heavily patterned carpet tiles that guide the children through the library.