Kambala design recognised at WAF awards

A visionary plan for greening the heritage campus of Kambala, in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs, has been judged one of the world’s best future education projects, receiving a Highly Commended at the World Architecture Festival (WAF) awards.

The Kambala Sport, Wellbeing + Senior Learning Precinct, by AJC Architects reimagines Kambala, one of Sydney’s oldest schools for girls (founded in the 1800s), with a new learning precinct and competition-standard sports fields cantilevered above.

This year WAF attracted 732 entries from 55 countries. In the Future Education category, from over 60 submissions, only 18 were shortlisted, including the Kambala scheme by AJC.

The Highly Commended accolade is not given in every WAF category but used sparingly in cases where judges’ deliberations are too close to select just one winner.

The scheme by AJC hinges on a dramatic idea. Using the steep site levels allows the existing sports fields to be raised up, enlarged and cantilevered as a roof over new learning commons below, adding around 5,700 m2 of flexible new learning, sports and event spaces (and facilities), with only a marginal increase to the building footprint across campus.

Elsewhere, the removal of ad-hoc building additions creates space for new gardens, a landscaped entry and the reinstatement of historic Tivoli House as the heart of the campus.

It does all of this without impeding the harbour view access for surrounding neighbours. The result of several years of thinking, drafting and workshopping ideas, the scheme’s low urban impact and design ingenuity reflect both Kambala’s education excellence, and a shared commitment – with AJC – to community, care and place.

“We’re very excited that this legacy project for Kambala has been judged one of the world’s best. It honours the school’s heritage and cements their future vision for generations to come.” Michael Heenan, CEO, Director AJC.