Compiled by Team IAnD
Photography: John Gollings; courtesy v2com
Read Time: 2 mins
Ar. McBride Charles Ryan places a vibrant and engaging use of colour at the heart of their institutional design concept and bag the WAN Colour in Architecture 2016 Award!
The Ivanhoe Grammar Senior Years and Science Centre in Melbourne, Australia is designed to have a circular plan that is largely based on the school’s original master plan. However, instead of repeating the circular pattern inside, the designers chose to use geometry and colour to define the central courtyards, light wells and learning spaces.
The sharp angles and vivid colours of the interior form a dramatic contrast with the round form and muted tones of the drum-like outer structure. At key entry points, the drum is ‘eroded’ to reveal the wonders of science and learning expressed through this vibrant design.
The WAN Colour in Architecture Award celebrates projects that harness colour to dramatically transform a building or enhance the experience for its users and community. And this standout winner uses colour as the differentiator right from the start.
Inspired by the idea of an eggshell hiding an inner core, and by kaleidoscopes, where a view inside reveals seemingly infinite combinations of colour and pattern, McBride Charles Ryan’s commitment to innovative solutions, technical excellence and professionalism shines through in the way the building’s language encapsulates contemporary methods for a well-rounded education.
The design responds to its context as a school building quite accurately, combining the serious with the playful. The classic circular form represents the order and certainty of knowledge, while the building’s expressive and complex inner world represents the uncertainty of modern life and scientific understanding; simultaneously endorsing the necessity of wonder and imagination to see us through. Above all, the building works contextually too, allowing for bright sunshine.
“It does look like an egg and when you break it open, there’s this jewel of colours in the middle,” is how one of the jury members describes the building; with their common concurrence on the fact that this project exemplifies the Award’s aim to champion designs using colour to create a more dynamic and communicative built environment.