Ambrose Treacy College - Senior School Precinct

Written by Mark Trotter, Hayley Crofts and Michael Andrews

Fulton Trotter Architects has worked with Ambrose Treacy College for the past 10 years, and we are very proud to share the recently completed Senior School Precinct. This is the third stage of the Senior School Master Plan developed with the College. The Senior Precinct comprises of three educational buildings each with their own character and linked along the leafy ridgeline of the site.

The significant site trees along the ridgeline include substantial figs, eucalyptus and raintrees which are a striking asset but a challenge for planning a traditional shaped classroom building. The solution was to gently wrap and weave the new Tipperary building around the trees. This has resulted in a peaceful classroom outlook and a memorable journey for students traversing the canopy. The radial building set out of Tipperary has resulted in trapezoidal teaching spaces, which we believe are subliminally softer than a typical rectangular classroom. Like it’s form, the application of colour in Tipperary is unashamedly bold. A punchy spectrum of colour is fanned along the length of the building both inside and out. We are excited to work with a client who embraces colour and we feel it’s a worthy expression of the energy of the students within!

In contrast to the whimsical Tipperary, Waterford is a very rectilinear and earnest building. Subtle in colour and distinguishable by its suspended and delicately perforated brick screen, Waterford is a three storey building that stands solidly at the end of the ridgeline. Accommodating the most mature students on campus, Waterford is honest, simple and robust.

The final building, Francis Xavier Centre, is distinguishable by its unique steel space-frame structure under which the senior cohort can gather or engage in competition basketball. Working closely with the structural engineer, we redistributed the steel of a typical portal frame structure. The outcome was an equally efficient but elegant lightweight framework which is wrapped in a fabric of fiberglass that is luminous in the evenings. This is a signature building for the growing school and very visible to the wider community.

The feedback from the school community on these most recent additions has been heartwarming and we love seeing the new buildings in use.

From a design perspective, we are proud that although each buildings has its own unique charm, they remain a family of buildings, stitched together with subtle nods to the original and first educational building on the site, the 1938 Edmund Rice Building, designed by our founding Partner Charlie Fulton.