Phillips Smith Conwell

Southern Cross Catholic College – Stage 2


Herron Coorey




Scarborough, Queensland


John Mills Architectural Photography

Working with Southern Cross Catholic College, we provided a school master plan that identifies the College’s forward planning needs in support of their vision and strategic purpose. One of the features of the master plan was how to deliver the required facilities in stages, to suit availability of funds. Two initial stages of work recently completed, involve reconfigured science labs and upgrading balustrading that also provide sunshading to the long western facade.

With the College already having a strong academic achievement in science and a passionate teaching team, they chose to upgrade the science facilities in order to maintain and build on enrolment demand. We reconfigured the layout of the labs and prep rooms to create 4 larger labs and a central prep room. The labs now provide a modern learning environment and allow for an array of teaching techniques and student engagement. Storage is ordered and considered. Writable surfaces were maximised. Rooms were colour coded, yet colour is restricted to below bench height, allowing light and bright surfaces including whiteboard walls above benches. Students and staff alike are enjoying the more engaging spaces.

The balustrading project began because a small section of balustrading was already planned to be replaced. As part of the master planning process, we were able to propose how the balustrading could add value by also becoming sunshading along the long western façade, and adding some character to an otherwise long, large and institutional looking building. The V shape at the bottom of the metal angle balustrade takes reference from timber valances below Queenslanders, giving a hint of a more domestic scale.