Based on the success of year the 11&12 extension program introduced at Ulverstone Secondary College, Philp Lighton Architects was commissioned to design complementary spaces to further support the program.
The site for the project is restricted to development at the front of the school, accordingly the development has significant impact on the presentation of the school. Philp Lighton Architects in collaboration with the school’s principal, saw the build as an opportunity to advertise the expanded school curriculum and demonstrate positive change including the adoption of new techniques in environmentally sustainable design strategies. The relationship of form and context are deliberately in juxtaposition, facilitating the client wishes to establish a conversational point for community members regarding current education trends.
Originally a trade teacher, Glen Lutwyche, the Principal, was drawn to the Tasmania Government Wood Encouragement policy & the work Philp Lighton Architects was investigating with the Centre for Sustainable Architecture with Wood (CSAW), in the use of Tasmanian plantation soft & hardwood to produce a mass timber building.
The Tasmanian Governments Wood Encouragement Policy, a direction set by State Government to encourage the use of local renewable plantation timber in the procurement of buildings to encourage and drive best practice and innovation within the local wood culture.
The use of local renewable plantation timber in the procurement of buildings, encouraging the storage of atmospheric carbon, reducing carbon emissions and developing a new culture of wood, also allowed for conversation within the school curriculum, inviting students to participate in bigger conversation around the new classroom, and it’s environmental credentials.
For Philp Lighton Architects the building became a vehicle for research into innovation in timber and local wood culture with engaged contribution and collaboration between architects, engineers, producers, suppliers, contractors and University of Tasmania’s PHD researchers to develop low tech, high value prefabricated timber elements, from local resources.
Novel approaches to construction methodologies incorporating prefabricated flooring and wall elements fabricated off site locally and craned into place, expediting construction phase and program. The glue laminated walling cassettes are left exposed internally, setting the tone of the interior with a wood rich and eclectic display of natural timber elements.