East Gippsland Commercial Projects
Hello again from all of us here at Slap Architects.
We have recently updated the website and invite you to have a look. We hope that you find it to be cleaner, responsive for mobile users and easier to navigate.
The Slap team recently completed several commercial projects and added them to our portfolio. Our clients come from all across Gippsland including Traralgon, Sale and Bairnsdale. It has been great to renew several relationships with local government, healthcare, education clients and builders as well as beginning new relationships and projects.
In addition to architectural design Slap have been able to apply specialist skills to these projects including:
- Technical building co-ordination on hospital projects
- Client funding application submissions design and costing
- Feasibility studies for refurbishments
- Office planning for several clients
- Town planning submissions for a wide range of clients
- Master planning for schools and other institutions
Many of you would have noticed the new public toilet building in the middle of Bairnsdale which we had great fun designing to make it both an iconic landmark and a functional, accessible public facility. While it has been the centre of some controversy, the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive on both the form and the function of the building. It’s the most talked about loo in East Gippsland!
Slap Architects have been involved with several federally funded Trade Skills Centres for Nagle College, Catholic College Sale and Lavalla College in Traralgon. We worked closely with the schools throughout the entire process, from the funding application through to the design, documentation and contract administration.
Slap have designed and completed new MRI suites for both Bairnsdale and Latrobe Regional Hospitals which are valuable additions to both health services, as previously patients had to travel long distances to access these vital, state-of-the-art machines. The projects themselves had quite challenging technical design requirements, requiring extensive coordination between the MRI suppliers, the magnetic shielding installers, services engineers, the clients and Slap.
Our other projects include:
- Offices and classrooms for Federation Training in the Academy building in Traralgon.
- Office extension for East Gippsland Water.
- Renovation of Accident and Emergency, Maternity and Administration departments for Bairnsdale. Regional Hospital and the creation of a new short stay unit.
- An extension to the Aged Care building for Omeo District Health.
- Renovation of the high dependency unit at Latrobe Regional Hospital.
The team currently have several projects in the design and construction phase which are keeping us busy. These include:
- Toorloo Arm Primary School - A new multipurpose building
- Nagle College - A new learning centre
- Bairnsdale Regional Hospital - Medical imaging fit-out and a new pathology department
- Bairnsdale Regional Hospital - New ward space.
- Gippsland Shire - New office feasibility and design
- Catholic College Sale - Refurbishments and new buildings
We aim to keep you the website updated with all of our new projects and news as well as interesting design and knowledge base blogs.
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Advance Tafe Redevelopment
“Advance tafe required a new facility to bring together disjointed student services. The resulting ‘Learning common’ provided a centralised location where all required student services could be accessed in a modern and relaxed environment.”
Advance Tafe (formerly East Gippsland Institute of TAFE)
CADbuild Construction (Formerly CM & HM Banks Builders)
The client brief proposed a ‘Learning Common’ to be located within an existing building on the Advance TAFE campus, Bairnsdale. The new building and services within it aimed to facilitate a flexible approach to teaching and learning, and open new opportunities for all teaching areas to better incorporate this approach and new technologies into their curriculum.
The Learning Common co-locates support services including: library & research services, student enrolment, student information, FLC student support staff, student counsellors, and vocational support staff. This benefits students by placing all the student services together to create a ‘one stop shop’ where they can interact with these services in a modern and relaxed environment.
In addition to the above brief for the learning common, the works incorporate the following requirements:
- The removal of existing, internal non-load bearing walls and partitions;
- The creation of new partitioning designed to encourage circulation throughout the space as well as interaction between Students and Staff including the design of defined and secure administrative areas without isolating students during normal operating hours;
- The provision of extended night and weekend access for students;
- The integration of formal and informal study facilities which include traditional as well as computer study stations;
- The replacement of windows on the northern and southern facades;
- The creation of a both north and south terraces to provide an outdoor study area, interconnected with the internal areas of the learning common;
- A new floor level incorporating classrooms, meeting rooms, external terrace & toilets;
- The ability of classrooms to be able to be opened up to one large conference facility;
- A new lift and connections between new floor levels and existing;
- Renovations and alterations to facilities around campus after their relocation to the new ‘learning common’.
The building was designed to have its own identity while sitting comfortably within the campus environment. The exaggerated angular entry to the south identifies itself as the entry to the building. The lift is also at this entry point and provides an assessable entry point for all students, staff and visitors. Once inside on the ground floor, a relaxed space has direct access to all student services, toilet facilities, the café, the library, the lift and a statement set of stairs of glass & steel that direct you to the first floor. At the top of the stairs on the new first floor there is a direct access to classrooms, meeting rooms, toilet facilities, the lift and the north terrace. The north terrace introduces sunlight further into the first floor and gives the facility a light and comfortable feeling. A second set of stairs to the east end of the building links back down to the first floor and into an adjoining building.
The new facility being integrated into an existing building created some design and construction issues. The existing building due to its age, had poor insulation, poor sealing & incorrect window shading which created heating and cooling issues. These were dealt with through new energy efficient windows where possible, correct window shading and installation of additional insulation. The heating and cooling system was also redesigned for more efficient operation. The shading device on the north façade was also used as walkway to clean first floor windows and as an aesthetic device to break up expanse of the north façade.
The design and installation of the lift was challenging as it required 5 stops over 3 levels to access 2 buildings in a confined construction space.
“Slap Architects were commissioned to design the Forestech facility to bring together three disparate cultures in the hardwood timber industry which had previously been located and working independently on the one campus. These being – Resource Management, Furniture Design and Forest Harvesting. The facility is the culmination of team work between representatives of these disciplines, including the students and the architects.”
The design incorporates a ‘street’ concept to which all the activities on the campus are linked. This ensures that there is a strong interaction between the various student and staff groups. Certain deliberate planning aspects help reinforce this interaction, these are a common staff office, a café, that serves both the students and the staff, and the placement of all the classrooms in one location and not adjacent to each department. The design is linear in form following the ‘street’ that runs in an east west direction. This enables the building to follow the fall of the land and sit below the tree canopy, and more importantly to maximize the north aspect for solar access.
The visible materials are all East Gippsland timbers and were chosen for their high yield and durability. The external weatherboards are radial sawn yellow stringy bark which is untreated or finished thus reducing maintenance. Radial sawing ensures that the recovery from the log is the greatest possible, and also has the benefit of minimizing the warping and twisting that results from conventional sawing. Internal timbers such as feature grade plywood’s and flooring. Exposed timber trusses all employ local hardwoods. The structure combines the use of timber and with some steel which reflects much of the construction of the furniture created by the students.
The other material employed extensively in the complex is corrugated iron in natural finish which has been used on the roofs and also for some of the wall cladding. This is a product that has a long association with the hardwood timber industry, especially in traditional timber mill structures.
As Forestech sits in a forest, care has been taken to minimize the effects of bush fires. Timber at the eaves level, especially on the north side, where the fire threat is the greatest, is eliminated and gutters which catch leaves have, where possible, been deleted. Decks on the north side are concrete rather than timber decking. There are no slatted base boards to buildings where sparks or wind driven embers can penetrate.
The materials were chosen to reflect the function of the building and the location of the facility. Visible materials, where practicable, employ East Gippsland hardwood timbers.
The structure uses common bush poles won from the forest combined with timber trusses and some steel framing. The visible trusses are native hardwoods while the concealed trusses, together with the wall framing, use plantation pine framing.
The materials being generally natural are non toxic and provide a healthy building.
Mechanical systems are low technology with the emphasis on natural ventilation and passive solar design with back up from ceiling fans and small package air conditioners for specialist areas.
Forestech continues to be the home of East Gippsland’s Advance Tafe’s curriculum for conservation and land management.
Australian Technical College - Sale Campus
Australian Technical College
Lemchens & Skulte Pty Ltd
The Australian Technical College wanted an exciting learning environment for young adults, whilst maintaining an environmentally sustainable
approach. A playful character is expressed by the curved roofs, which also provide natural light and ventilation to the internal spaces of the complex. The interiors use warm, but bright earthy tones and natural materials such as timber floors and external cladding. Bold directional striped carpet is used to emphasise the rectilinear element of the design and to complement the block colours used on the walls and joinery. Natural lighting is employed extensively without the issues of glare through highlight windows and skylights.
Gippstafe Academy Traralgon (now Federation Training)
“The Central Gippsland Institute of Tafe required a new flagship building, the Gippstafe Academy that would reaffirm their presence in the Latrobe Valley and showcased their commitment to community education and involvement.”
Central Gippsland Institute of Tafe
The building is a showcase for the Central Gippsland Institute of TAFE (GippsTAFE) I.T. centre, – the Flexible Innovation and Learning Room (FLAIR), general purpose classrooms, student amenities on the ground floor. In addition the ground floor houses the GippsTafe Employment and Transitional Training (GETT) centre, which caters to individuals facing barriers to traditional education and employment. The second floor has office areas, a conference centre with kitchen and breakout areas that opens onto an alfresco area and a student lounge. The building is designed to be approachable ,breaking away from a corporate institutional image by providing soft materials, vibrant colours and extensive landscaping.
The client wished for a visually prominent building as it is located on the axis of two major roads in Traralgon. The facade features a striking 2 storey coloured perspex screen that filters the light through to the building behind. In addition it is lit at night to become a “lantern”. The Princes Highway facade also features a 20m long perforated metal screen that partially shields the first floor alfreso area. It features motifs of students engaged in various educational activities.
The first floor has a large North facing alfreso area with planters that can be divided between the conference and student and staff areas with large timber clad sliding doors.
The interior spaces use the large skylights and double height spaces to provide natural light to the interior. A large plywood feature wall lines the ground and first floor corridors, and is complemented by bold colours.