This project brings a bold and bright new presence to its urban setting. The large new steel-framed sports hall forms the centrepiece at the campus.

Colour is integrated into the fa├žade cladding, while the straight-forward palette of materials including steel, glass, timber and concrete - most left in their natural state - add a raw but warm feeling to the interior.

Inside, brightly coloured walls also add vibrancy to the rooms; and graphics complement the colours to express the centre’s function as a central hub for experience, learning and growth.

IN BRIEF

Redevelop the historic former Redfern Public School as a multi-use residential, training and education facility catering for both the local community and rural and interstate groups. Restore and convert the heritage elements to suit the needs of the new campus.

ARCHITECT'S WORDS

This project conserves three heritage-listed buildings of the former Redfern Public School dating from the 1870s and adds a naturally-ventilated sporting facility, swimming pool and football training field to form the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence (NCIE) campus. The former school buildings are given new uses as a dining hall, dormitories, classrooms, recreation and offices.

The new three storey Eora Sports, Arts and Recreation Centre is a colourful yet rigorous addition to George Street, Redfern, reflecting the rhythm of adjacent terrace wing walls. The use of colour throughout the project creates a strong identity for the NCIE in Redfern and beyond, as well as a sense of fun with the interiors.

The former school’s heritage buildings and original playgrounds are conserved as the residential focus of the complex. The major new volume of the sports hall is modulated by its structure to respond to the repeated wing walls of the adjoining Victorian terraces, whilst projecting timber-clad elements are scaled to the conserved school buildings. Open spaces buffer the larger new elements from adjoining residences.

The many levels between buildings across the site are skillfully married to provide seamless movement around the campus.

The former playground between the heritage buildings becomes a whimsical central space treated with a restrained palette of concrete timber and asphalt, while the former western playground on the site’s lowest level is a football training ground.

Movement around the campus is divided into publicly accessible areas and secure areas for students with security barriers subtly integrated into stairs and gateways at level changes over the site.

The entire site can be opened for public events providing important community space. The seamless integration of environmentally sustainable design measures – including storm water recycling within the landscape and buildings, natural ventilation and solar heating – adds to the value of this project.

The significant heritage buildings and vacant areas of the site have been integrated and developed for major activities supporting the role of the centre.

ACCOLADES

2011 Urban Design Commendation AIA National Awards

2011 Lloyd Rees Award for Urban Design, AIA NSW Awards.

2011 Public Architecture Commendation, AIA NSW Awards.

NCIE ambassador Michael O'Loughlin: “I think it’s going to be one of the most important and influential places for Aboriginal people in Australia to come together and learn."

PRODUCTS

MAIN STRUCTURE
AXOLOTYL OZONE, GENERAL GLASS
CLASS 2 INSITU, CONCRETE
GYPROCK, PLASTERBOARD

FLOORING
RESILIENT FLOORING 
FORBO FLOORING, MARMOLEUM
FORBO FLOORING, SAFE STEP (KITCHEN FLOORS)
GRANITO, COSTELLO TILES
TUFTMASTER CARPETS, CARPETS
AURA SPORT FLOORS, FLOR PULASTIC 2000, GYM/BASKETBALL COURT FLOOR

WALLS
DULUX, PAINT
BILDPSEC DISTRIBUTORS, BILDSPEC, OPERABLE WALLS

ROOFING
LYSAGHT

BATHROOM
GLENNON CERAMIC TILES, WALL TILES
TOILET COMPARTMENTS, JOINERY
CAROMA, TOILETS AND BASINS
LAMINEX

KITCHEN
ARKETIQUE, BENCHTOP COMMUNAL KITCEHN BENCH

SPORTS EQUIPMENT
ACROMAT

DOORS/DOOR HARDWARE
DORMA

ROLLERSHUTTERS
THOMSON SHUTTERS

WINDOWS
BREEZEWAY
SIMPLEX ALUMINIUM 
CAPRAL
G JAMES
LIDCO - ALUMINIUM WINDOWS AND DOORS

FIRE
NULLIFIRE, FIRE RESISTANT GLAZING
NULLIFIRE, INTUMESCENT PAINT
PROMAT AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, FIRE PROTECTION BOARD