New Project Release: PLACE OF COURTYARDS: A BUILDING FOR DREAMING, LIVING AND LEARNING: St Catherine’s College, Perth WESTERN AUSTRALIA
We were asked to create “a building in which to dream” – a new type of accommodation for university students at St Catherine’s College, ten minutes from Perth’s city centre near the University of Western Australia’s Crawley Campus. We extended this brief to embrace the landscape, carefully locating the five new buildings around a number of significant existing trees to form a series of linked, generous courtyards, tied back to the existing college buildings via transparent walkways and glazed bridges. The result is an elegant series of buildings, familiar in its context with a forward thinking outlook.
AJ+C Design Director & Principal, Michael Heenan said: ‘This is a place of courtyards, located by the careful preservation of existing trees and defined by the buildings. There is a serenity and calmness away from the buzz of the city that makes St Catherine’s so special.’
The building was inspired by the University’s Student Housing Strategy “to live and learn on campus, enhancing the student experience and allowing students to become fully involved in the intellectual and cultural activities of The University”. Common facilities are located throughout the campus, including a 25m pool, a conference centre, two roof terraces, tutorial rooms, small private studios/music rooms, informal breakout spaces, and common rooms with separate kitchenettes for shared meals and parties. Light coloured masonry facades reference the materials used in the older parts of the University, while crisp modern touches such as stainless steel columns and dark coloured sunshades reference the forward thinking approach to education initiated in Australia by UWA and the College.