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Visual Arts Centre


The Visual Arts centre at Brentwood College School houses the independent School’s social sciences and visual arts programs. The building’s central corridor, the spine of the building, is abundantly day lit and without any direct sunlight penetration, serves as an art gallery and access for classrooms and studios. The spine also serves as the lungs of the building, the exhaust mechanism for drawing air from perimeter vent-rows and windows, automated and manually controlled. The building’s campanile serves as the campus’s clock and bell tower, while disguising the heat recovery unit that extracts heat from this internal air and returns it to the building. In the cooling season, warm air accumulates in the upper volume of the spine and may be exhausted from upper clerestories through automated openers. The form of the spine roof speaks to air flow and movement – a gentle curve and flow which is derived from a series of composite trusses along its length. The trusses are composed of paired glulam top chords tensioned with a steel cable, the compressed king-post is constructed of four sheets of laminated glass.

Year Completed: 2012
Contractor: Knappett Projects
Client: Brentwood College School
Photographer: Sama Jim Canzian

Edges: a RE proposition

June 18, 2017


Aspirationaly, every architecture project could be an ecotone.

Ecotone – a transition area between two biomes – it is where two communities meet and integrate.

The operative elements of this definition being “meet” and “integrate”. Edge conditions in the built environment have evolved to be separators, demisers, delineators. In the interest of re-engaging with our world, to leveraging physics and moving toward more sustainable solutions, architecture needs these edges to meet AND integrate.

And so, CLA has been putting that idea out to our clients. It’s not a new idea, yet it is a reframing for many folks. Not surprisingly lots of RE words populate the conversation:

  • Re-engaging
  • Re-framing
  • Re-storation
  • Re-generation
  • Re-connect

All of these edges of RE bring us closer to meeting and integrating. With what? With the context in which a built environment operates, and that includes nature. And with an ecotone, the focus is on transition – there are no barriers, separators, demisers or delineators. Time to re-imagine the possibilities!


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Writen By Christine Lintott