Aberfoyle Park High School
- Government of South Australia Department of Infrastructure and Transport
- Aberfoyle Park, South Australia
- + Administration and Student Services
+ Performing Arts and Music building, including a new theatre for 250 people
+ Home Economics refurbishment and upgrade including commercial kitchen
+ Refurbishment of the Seniors’ Hub and creation of Year 7 Hub
+ Refurbishment of the English, Mathematics and LOTE buildings and creating efficient outdoor areas.
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Hames Sharley was engaged as part of the Department for Infrastructure and Transport’s Capital Works Program (CWP) to elevate Aberfoyle Park High School’s educational offering with a focus on student wellbeing and the arts through improved amenity and design.
Hames Sharley, alongside cost consultants Turner and Townsend, played a critical role in helping to align the school’s vision with the funding available from the CWP. The advice ensured maximum cost-benefit and promoted refurbishing existing space effectively to reduce expenditure. The collaborative design process and strategic value offered by Hames Sharley encouraged the school to contribute additional funding to realise the shared vision.
Aberfoyle Park High School is integrated with the community via pedestrian corridors and shared amenities. The aim of the redesign was to foster community connections in a safer, more meaningful way, while enriching the learning experience for the school’s 1,125 students. Given the scale of the vision, Hames Sharley worked with the Schiavello construction team to complete the project in stages to minimise disruption to the school.
Work began with full internal refurbishments to five standalone buildings, along with landscaping, and culminated with a major refurbishment of the Performing Arts Centre (PAC) and Administration Hub (together known as Stage 3).
The corridor between the two buildings had been used as a public thoroughfare to access nearby shops, and the introduction of a new building to close the thoroughfare has improved student safety, streamlined pedestrian movement and created a focal entry statement to the site.
Reduced public accessibility has been offset by improvements to the PAC, which now boasts a large theatre space capable of hosting school productions, community performances and events. The octagonal shape of the existing PAC presented a challenge the team to ‘think outside the square’ to find the best configuration of spatial volumes and coordinate junctions between existing buildings.
Adjacent to Stage 3, the Senior Student Hub shares a building with the Aberfoyle Hub Library, which again required the design team to manage public access while retaining connection to a vital learning tool.
Working with the character of the existing 80s buildings and the complex natural topography of the site were key to this project’s success. Hames Sharley worked closely with landscape architects WAX Design to curate outdoor spaces throughout the sloping terrain, which required new ramps, stairs and landscaping to promote safe access for students between classrooms.
A common thread between all refurbished buildings was the introduction of social and visual connection between internal spaces and more ‘general learning’ areas which can be modified as necessary, with improved indoor-outdoor connectivity that enhances natural light and cross-ventilation to promote student wellbeing and sustainability.
The result is a blend of contemporary architecture with natural materials and an earthen green palette reminiscent of the Australian bush. The light brick exterior is clad with vertical screens powdercoated in colours inspired by paperbark, eucalypt, and mangrove – which serve as a decorative element and protective shield for the façade, blending harmoniously with other upgrades and the buildings’ natural surrounds.