About the project
The Provence Centre at Iona College represents the initial stage in the school’s current Masterplan. The project provides fixed and retractable internal seating for entire school events, Olympic sized basketball and volleyball courts, dedicated running zone, a weights gymnasium, flexible learning areas, commercial kitchen, staff room and associated amenities.
The existing walkway to and from Lindum Station, the major point of access to the college for students, is strategically integrated into the project as the primary pedestrian circulation path. The spatial sequence along the path connects the multiple levels of the project and provides an enhanced civic identity for Iona within the broader community.
The design strategies for the Provence Centre include the following:
- Frame the spectator’s view of the adjacent landscape to the south of the site
- Provide seating for 2000 people in a horse-shoe format around the Olympic sized sports courts, with Olympic level viewing from every seat in the building
- Deliberately over-size the openings where students and staff access the building to allude to the scale of the building within
- Physically integrate the existing disparate levels and building entries into the new pedestrian circulation paths
- Create a three storey, top lit threshold space at the primary entry point to the building along the pathway from Lindum Station
The sports hall has a mixed mode mechanical system. It can be run as an air-conditioned space or parts of the façade can be opened and air circulated with large ceiling fans.
The material palette selected for the Provence Centre reflects the robustness required of a sports hall and heavily trafficked pedestrian area within a school of 1500 boys.
Vitrified floor tiles and shallow height concrete block masonry are consistent throughout the circulation spaces as the primary finishes that students and staff interact with at the ground plane. Structural openings are infilled with clear glazing to maintain visual connections through the length and depth of the building. Pre-finished sheet metal and compressed fibre cement are utilised at high level to compliment the durability and maintainability of the other finishes in the building.
Acoustic absorption is achieved by utilising a combination of pattern perforated, impact resistant plasterboard on the high level walls and ceilings internally, upholstered seating and angled glazing.
2023 AIA Architecture Awards — Educational Architecture Commendation