Hobart College Science Lab Refurbishment

Mt Nelson, lutruwita / Tasmania

Status :

Completed 2014

Photography :

Jasmin Latona

Hobart College is a spacious campus located in a bush land setting on the suburban fringe. Designed with a brutalist aesthetic, the school was built in the 1970’s and has had little internal work undertaken in the intervening years to support contemporary teaching requirements. A beneficiary of the 2013 School Science and Technology Stimulus Program, the college received funding to refurbish and upgrade the science suite of specialist learning areas to provide a safe, high quality learning environment. The work involved the refurbishment of two biology labs and a physics lab, two new chemistry and physical science labs and five new maths classrooms over 2 levels, as well as provision of new staff offices, communal spaces and amenities. The interior concept is a celebration of science, with an ‘outward looking’ approach to the design reflecting the global outlook and connectivity of scientific research.

Spaces were reconfigured in close collaboration with head of the department to bring science and mathematics together, providing an environment conducive to quality teaching and learning which encourages collaborative enquiry.

A key design move was the incorporation of a new DNA inspired spiral staircase connecting the two floors, creating a symbolic heart for the block. Patterns on the floor represent the interconnectivity and ever changing nature of science.

The northern face of the building was broken open to provide a sunny communal student space with a visual connection to the broader landscape setting and the spectacular view to kunanyi / Mt Wellington.

The addition of external sunshading has reduced the heatload on the building to create a stimulating learning environment and a flexible and engaging space the students can take ownership of.