A new arts hub for a school in Melbourne has involved the redevelopment of a heritage-listed Naval Drill Hall and former Post Office.

The design by Six Degrees for Albert Park College Environmental Arts Hub highlights the robust construction, open interiors and timber floors of the late 19th-century and early 20th-century buildings.


The existing ground and mezzanine spaces were adapted into four large multipurpose and science classrooms, while the main Naval Hall space was retained as a teaching, meeting and performance space.


On the other hand, the Post Office was stripped back to its original finishes and left in an unfinished state. This building is home to administrative, meeting and musical rehearsal spaces.


As an ‘environmental hub’, it is without question that the project would address sustainability in some shape or form. The building was not rated on any systems, but instead used a common-sense approach to sustainability.

Thermal envelope performance was increased using foilboard ceiling linings, and gas-fired hydronic heating and hot water was boosted with evacuated tube solar. Additionally, rainwater storage was incorporated in the design for landscaping and toilets, and a night purge system was achieved through operable toplight windows and roof vent dampers.   

The Environmental Arts Hub accommodates 250 year 9 students, 25 members of staff, artists in residence, and memb​​​ers of the local community.