Santa Maria College- Science and HASS Building

Mercy Education Limited for Santa Maria College

Attadale, Perth

EMCO Building

August 2015

Andrew Pritchard Photography


The new Science and Humanities building at Santa Maria College incorporates innovative spaces for new modes of learning. Tying into the existing Mercy Building lent challenges of servicing, access and floor heights. The new four storey building contains six humanities learning spaces on the Ground Floor which include operable walls and internal glazing around a shared gathering space.

Extensive investigation with Science staff into methods of science learning developed the design away from traditional science learning classes, with the creation instead of a transition floor containing small tutorial spaces wrapped around a large open multi-use, multi-class experimental laboratory. The top floor includes six dedicated Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Human Biology laboratories with unique features related to the specific learning areas- such as access to a greenhouse and open balcony for the Biology classroom.

Specialist Chemistry labs have separate spaces for experimentation and theory work
Display units for each specialist lab shows the type of science conducted within and sparks excitement for learners
Tutorial labs around the central lab are used for their work
The central lab space can cater for up to three classes at a time doing experimental work
Glass between the central lab and forum allows natural light through the space
Acoustic panels and stair detail
Audio visual equipment in the forum allows for large group activity
The froum links two levels and can be used by mulitple groups
Ground floor classrooms surround a shared plaza space with loose furniture
Artwork by the Factory announces the use of the building
Natural sandstone contrasts with the glossy aluminium
Materials used reflect the existing palette on site
The curved forum provides a link between the two parts of the building
The new building blends with the existing Mercy building
The external curved facade taking advantage of the panoramic views over the Swan River
The specialist Biology lab has perimeter island benchs with theory space in the middle of the room