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Glazed brick, dynamic forms and colours reign

I am loving the work of McBride Charles Ryan for their brave forms and quality, innovative and considered use of material and colour. Below are some of their celebrated works, most of which are educational and cater to the early years along with other ages (yet some are not at all!)

The Penleigh and Essendon Middle Girls School (PEGS)

At the Penleigh and Esssendon Middle Girls School is a rich, diverse and high quality environment responding to the needs of very distinct student groups whilst providing an architecture that gives the school a unique and special identity.

Sweeping curved walls of glazed brick banded in white, green and blue changes in both scale and intensity reveal and conceal views and generous spaces interconnect classrooms forming the building's backbone or spine.

The building's design language extends to the landscaping, pathways and custom-designed joinery throughout as seen above with the use of astro turf and white curving steeped steps.

The building's form works to blur the boundaries between inside and out, becoming a landscape itself.

Photos by Annette O’Brien 

Dallas Brooks Community Primary School

At the Dallas Brooks Community School, generous courtyards link small communal teaching areas. Spaces for different aged children are arranged cyclically, mirroring the students' growth from early learning to early adolescence.

Keen to create a community hub as well as a school, the architects developed a concept based on walled cities - a typology that would also resonate with the multitude of cultural groups in the community also.

The angular and colourfully glazed profile of the facade was derived from silhouetted imagery of the school's surroundings, whilst the colour scheme is continued inside helping to aid orientation around the campus.

Photos by John Gollings

Fitzroy High School

Fitzroy School (above) has chosen to make a style statement with its waving banded coloured facade to reflect its philosophy of innovation in education - a model of progressive education.

And two projects which are most definitely not educational, but are so visually striking that I just HAD to share are the houses below.

Letter Box House

Aptly named "Letterbox House" for the facade which appears to open like a letterbox.

From the architects: "It's like a half space, half enclosed, half open. Neither in nor out - a new version of the good old Aussie verandah."

The buildings form is an ambiguous one. Where is the front door? As the architects say: "You don't need a ‘front door' in a holiday house - you just find your way in."

Photos by John Gollings

Cloud House

The Cloud House needs not much explanation to its source for inspiration.

An extension to a double-fronted Edwardian house, the extension's form create a dramatic effect both viewed from externally and internally, where walls meet seamlessly with the ceiling.

A disentegrated red-coloured 'box' acts as the kitchen bridging between the old and the new.

Photos by John Gollings

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