Tag Archives: design

Learning Environment Australasia awards Commendation to Concordia College’s Nautilus Centre

  • Concordia College, Nautilus Centre - Sky Kaleidescope

    Photograph: David Sievers

  • Concordia College, Nautilus Centre - Sky Kaleidescope breakout

    Photograph: David Sievers

  • Concordia College, Nautilus Centre - Foucault Pendulum Central Atrium

    Photograph: David Sievers

  • Concordia College, Nautilus Centre- Foucault Pendulum Central Atrium

    Photograph: David Sievers

  • Concordia College, Nautilus Centre- view from quadrangle

    Photograph: David Sievers

  • Concordia College, Nautilus Centre- view from street

    Photograph: David Sievers

  • Concordia College, Nautilus Centre- Solar System Breakout

    Photograph: David Sievers

  • Concordia College, Nautilus Centre - Lab display

    Photograph: David Sievers

  • Concordia College, Nautilus Centre - Fibonacci Lounge

    Photograph: David Sievers

  • Concordia College, Nautilus Centre - Physics Area

    Photograph: David Sievers

Russell & Yelland has been awarded a Commendation in the 2018 Australasian Region LEA Awards for Concordia’s Nautilus Centre in the category of new facilities under $8m.

The Jury commented as follows:

The Nautilus Centre, developed by Russell & Yelland Architects, has its foundation in a carefully considered educational brief. The resulting building is a thoughtful and carefully considered learning environment which exudes the celebration of science, bringing to life theory and practice through telling stories within the fabric of the building.

This is a learning environment that uses the whole building for learning from classroom spaces and labs through to shared space and even the stairwell that rotates around the Foucault pendulum. Breakout spaces and glass writing walls enable the student learning to – be mobile and adaptable.

As one student says: “The open learning spaces, filled with their uniquely textured details, creates a dynamic and flexible learning experience. The cleverly incorporated decorative features, which further arouse my scientific curiosity, is something which my friends all agree makes learning STEAM subjects more accessible.”

Visible learning is celebrated in the Nautilus Centre by bringing the class activity into the more public realms, using glazing and glass display boxes as walls and additional windows between teaching spaces. Deep transparency is achieved across the building creating a sense of lightness and openness, whilst retaining the ability to have individual learning spaces.

With a striking facade and a positive contribution to the campus setting, Russell & Yelland should be proud of creating an excellent new building for Concordia College that will inspire both the future generations of young scientists and the teachers that will utilise the Nautilus Centre.

More information on the awards is available here

“A highly complex three dimensional puzzle”

One of the issues that emerged at the recent Australian Institute of Architects Conference in Adelaide was that, as architects, we aren’t that good at describing the work that we do and the value of our particular skill set.

Design can be particularly hard to pin down – the design process varies a lot from person to person, and the results of that process are hard to evaluate with quantitative measures. It is a process that has many ‘right’ answers to the same question (demonstrated by the entries to any design competition).

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From Project Team Integration to the Architect’s Trojan Horse…

Peter Barda, Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Construction Industry Forum, has visited our office several times recently to conduct pilot Project Team Integration workshops for one of our projects.  This is based on the ACIF/APCC guide “A Framework for the Adoption of Project Team Integration and Building” using the “Project Team Integration Workbook”.

This allows all team members to discuss, in a very different way, how they might work as an integrated team, with great benefits to the whole project.

While with us, Peter gave our staff some off-the-cuff thoughts about the profession. He’s expanded those ideas in this month’s article for the Association of Consulting Architects: BIM – the Architects’ Trojan Horse.

It’s not all complimentary about our profession – but well worth a read!

The Architect and the Competent Child

Picture1I’d like to reflect on how the concept of the competent child has changed the way I work as an architect.

I can be a procrastinator. There are bits of the house extension we did over 20 years ago that aren’t quite finished. But I like getting things finished. Those involved in building projects at home or at school will know the final touches can take a long time.

I’m lucky enough to have been involved in the Galilee Catholic School at Aldinga Beach, South Australia, with Tina Adamo and then Jodie Higgins and the staff since its inception in 2005. I’ve worked on additional research projects related to early childhood, been involved in the Carla Rinaldi residency and was fortunate to have been on the SA study tour to Reggio Emilia at the beginning of last year. Throughout all of these experiences what has stood out for me has been the honesty involved in not pretending to have all the answers. So for me the interesting outcome of really taking to heart the concept of the competent child is that it’s never finished.

Sure, you can finish the new building. You can design for flexibility and adaptability. But if you are listening to the competent child, you will celebrate the changes that they make to what was planned. That environment will never be “finished”.

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How teaching can influence the built environment.

A few years ago I was involved in a research program for young professionals facilitated by CEFPI (Council of Educational Facility Planners International) called the Mayfield Project. Our submission consisted of a number of case studies which explored the relationship between pedagogy and the built environment. I examined a recently completed open plan science lab building. The process had a huge influence on my professional development and the results changed the way I viewed educational design, they are summarised below:

A teachers classroom is like their home, it needs to be secure, provide privacy while being adaptable with good links to a range of spaces. Multi purpose or flexible spaces run the risk of becoming homeless. Openness and transparency can come at the expense of privacy and security. This Science Centre designed as open plan for accessibility attempts to find a middle ground.

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So you think you can dance? Designing a Performing Arts Centre

Salisbury East High School: Performing Arts Centre

Salisbury East High School: Performing Arts Centre



Salisbury East High School’s popular dance curriculum has informed the design of a new Arts Facility to be constructed within the heart of the school.
Education in the Arts is pushing for creative, flexible spaces within schools to adapt to the fluid nature of teaching creative endeavours.

Together with key stakeholders we have rationalised the current building stock to make way for a Performing Arts building that embraces contemporary education in the Arts. John Held’s initial concept of wrapping the building upon itself to create a sheltered learning space has been interwoven by interiors that layer upon themselves to create drama and performance within the communal spaces.

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