Ursula Frayne Catholic College Home Economics Building

Victoria Park, Perth

Ursula Frayne Catholic College

March 2014

This new building encapsulates the school’s narrative on its journey from a humble single building from the 1930’s to a modern, sophisticated education facility, spread over two campuses. The Duncan Street Campus in Victoria Park campus caters for Year 7 to Year 12 students and has a strong aesthetic, historical and social heritage significance. It is also part of a major heritage precinct that includes St Joachim’s Hall, Church, Presbytery and a former convent on the school site

The scope of the project resulted in a challenging design brief that called for significant changes to an existing building (St Joachim’s School), incorporating new functionality whilst embracing the historical nature of the College site. DWA worked closely with the College, local shire, Heritage Council of WA, and sub-contractor heritage architects, during the delicate planning and design phase of the project.

The proposal sought to retain the original 1930’s building, adding a second level to the structure to provide the College with additional accommodation. It also sought to retain the architectural qualities of the original building ensuring a distinction between the original and new works, whilst integrating the larger structure into the overall campus theme.

The project has created state-of-the-art facilities for the College while successfully providing a reinterpretation of an existing heritage form. The refurbished and extended building is both innovative and recognisable. It has a commanding presence along Shepperton Road that has been further enhanced with the incorporation of a large, red illuminated cross on the corner of the facility, proudly announcing the College’s Christian ethos. Complimented by the surrounding landscaping, this symbol not only reflects the identity of the College but has invited the local and broader communities to see the familiar vista of the school in a different way.

EMCO Building

Robert Frith