What sort of architecture is suitable for a secondary school? If you asked a cross-section of society you would get many answers varying from 'cheap and functional - after all they're only kids' through to 'imaginative, sensual, intellectual, thought-provoking, green, solar, sculptural, colourful, beautiful....'
Luckily for Thornton Architects, and for the teachers and students of Strathmore Secondary College, the Principal Ken Harbottle has always had the highest expectations of architectural and landscape quality for his school, regardless of the ruthless financial constraints of the State School system. Since the early nineties the office has been encouraged to produce engaging architecture on challenging budgets. And if the designs looked a bit ordinary, it was 'This isn't up to your usual standard. Back to the drawing board, Simon!'
What follows in chronological order are the results of this consistency over more than seventeen years, beginning with the renovation of neglected buildings from the mid-sixties and ending with... actually it never ends!Stage 1 of the new building works comprising the Theatrette, Design, Arts, Cafeteria, Canteen, Classrooms and Technology was awarded an Architecture Award in the 2001 RAIA Victorian Chapter awards program.
Many students, graduates and architects working at Thornton Architects have contributed to the work at Strathmore Secondary College. Dianne Peacock designed the main entry doors and canopy shown here, using ideas and forms derived from alternative comic books.