Rounding out the College Masterplan developed by Law Architects in 2007, the Notre Dame Centre was born from a need to provide a designated adult learning environment for the students final years of school. Perched in the top corner of the school site, the centre is not only a visible acropolis to the younger aspiring students but also seeks to actively engage students and teachers both internally and externally through clever connections into adjacent buildings and spaces. Translating the school's sense of community and college cohesion played a prominent role in the brief and design, ensuring the spaces would "cultivate independent and collaborative learning as well as student wellbeing".
Previously housed in temporary relocatables, the Centre now provides senior students with a permanent double storey home base. Ground & First Floor learning spaces, formal study zones, teacher stations & informal gathering areas look inward to a central stair with double height atrium lit by two saw-tooth roof skylights above. Ground Floor tiered seating platforms under the skylights connect into the central stair & flow into an informal sunken amphitheatre.
Two First Floor bridges key into existing adjacent buildings facilitating cross-year level integration. During VCE exams, First Floor learning areas open into one long exam space via a series of operable walls. A variety of study nooks set in & around the atrium & locker areas allow extended learning from formal teaching spaces as well as private study & social interactions. Off-street car parking, maintenance & utility spaces, and water conscious landscaping complete the project.