St Joseph’s, North Ipswich

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Location: North Ipswich
Client: Brisbane Catholic Education

The St Josephs Primary School Library is the centrepiece of a small school campus in Ipswich. Budget requirements saw routine construction materials including cast concrete and corrugated metal reimagined to deliver an iconic design.

A series of concrete fins clad in corrugated metal shade the western facade, the only aspect of the site not impeded by existing buildings. The corrugated metal, glass and concrete create a striking geometric pattern that is principally defined by varying textures and reflection of light. The corrugated metal cladding continues around the building where it is regularly punctuated by fixed windows.

An existing corridor in an adjacent classroom building is continued as a sheltered walkway through the library to the staff facility building at the north, affording straightforward circulation throughout the three buildings. Inside the library, reception and servicing desks are strategically placed as a physical barrier between the ‘public’ and staff only areas. Study rooms are created with floor-to-ceiling glass, ensuring the interior remains open and views are not hindered.

Manipulation of the sloping site has allowed for a sheltered breakout area to be created under the overhang of the library, which students have claimed for handball games. Bold concrete support columns taper to a light footprint, echoing the form of the fins on the western facade.

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