Environmental and social sustainability in Brisbane.

Shanghai, Australia,



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Environmental and social sustainability in Brisbane.
Richard Kirk Architect, an Australian studio based in Brisbane, with offices in Shanghai and Kuala Lumpur, has since 2004 been overseeing the Aboriginal and Islander Community School (AIICS) project, for which it created a long-term masterplan
.The old public school in Queensland attended by the children from aboriginal community southwest of Brisbane was located near a busy road and no longer provided sufficient space for the rapidly growing number of students.

RKA was commissioned to prepare a new masterplan taking into account not only the need for additional new spaces but a safer location.

Phase 1 in the masterplan, completed in 2007, consisted of four separate volumes, two of which contained classrooms for grades 1 to 5, plus one for the kitchen and accessory services and one for art and science classrooms. This phase also included study and planning of landscaping.

Phase 2, implemented in 2010, included construction of a multipurpose building, which benefited from the architects’ study of efficient structural design and development of eco-sustainable strategies. Like the Phase 1 buildings, the new building has a simple, lightweight steel structure completed with wood and glass.

The inclined roof juts out to offer shelter for the area around the building and collects rainwater for watering the gardens. The volume’s orientation, the position of the doors and the adjustable windows provide natural ventilation for the multipurpose space. “Green” solutions improve the environmental performance of the AIICS complex.

A project aimed at guaranteeing a better future for aboriginal children becomes a true centre for the neighbourhood’s social life, a multipurpose space for the local community built strictly in line with the principles of ESD (ecologically sustainable development).

Design: Richard Kirk Architects, http://www.richardkirkarchitect.com/
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Client: Aboriginal & Islander Independent Community School
Years: 2004 – 2010
Photographs: AIICS – Jon Linkins, AIICS Hall – Aperture Architectural Photography
Awards: 2010: Australian Steel Institute Award (Phase 2), 2007: Australian Steel Institute Award (Phase 1)


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