The design of a new Department of Education secondary college embodies a sense of pride in the WA public schooling system. Alkimos College will deliver the State School Curriculum in the first instance and also exist as an exemplary endorsement of public schooling in this developing area of the northern suburbs, providing learning environments that are safe, supportive and considerate of the physical, emotional and behavioural needs of students.
Alkimos College is located in Alkimos at the intersection of Santorini Promenade and Hollington Boulevard, approximately 2km east of the coast. Alkimos and the surrounding popular northwest coastal suburbs are located just 40 km from Perth CBD and 15km north of Joondalup Town Centre. This area is quickly developing into a vibrant beachside community.
A school develops its reputation, identity and key characteristics over time. This value has been captured in the building design by providing unique physical features that are easily recognizable. The College has a prominent presence along Santorini Promenade and is becoming an identifiable landmark in the greater Alkimos community.
The masterplan grouped interrelated programmed functions in such a way that a variety of spaces and smaller communities are created within the overall campus.
The school has its ‘Front Door’ addressing Hollington Boulevard with the main Administration, classrooms and Science labs prominently located for easy access from Santorini Promenade and Hollington Boulevard. The western portion of the building addresses the public realm and the proposed civic venues such as the Trinity Neighbourhood Centre and presents a graphic elevation comprising sweeping structural elements and screens which shade the glazed elevation.
The masterplan creates a selection of landscaped courtyards between buildings. These generous, wide-open spaces allow sufficient sunlight to the courtyards as well as borrowed light to the adjacent classrooms. The courtyards adjoining the various communities will provide recreation and relaxation areas protected from the prevailing westerly winds, as well as providing opportunities for external learning.
The school sporting fields are being developed by the City of Wanneroo under a ‘shared use’ agreement and, together with the Sports Hall and multi-use outdoor courts, complete a ‘sports hub’ for the College and wider community.
All individual building designs have ‘simple’ building forms conducive to a degree of repetition in detailing and even some form of modular componentry to standardise construction methodology across the site.
Learning areas are accessed directly off external verandahs and walkways. The design concept takes reference to a traditional ‘senior high school building design’ that utilises an external verandah to access each classroom. The external verandahs have a secondary purpose as protected incidental meeting areas for students and staff.