Principal Jenny Williams said the concept is central to “Creating a Space for Culture,” one of many ideas ** outlined in the school’s vision and expanded strategic plan. “Creating specialized learning spaces equivalent to the best universities of red brick and the Ivy League is very important. The transformation of old traditional learning spaces and the new expectations of educators and parents in the post-pandemic world have forced us to focus on all aspects of STEAM (science, math, engineering, art and technology). It is necessary for full-fledged educational offers with additional elements that improve cultural life and well-being ”.
“The new site is a breath of fresh air and bright light for the art community, which has been hit hard by the pandemic economic crisis and has not received additional funding from the state budget.” Jenny said the situation threatens the viability of live music venues, small theaters, galleries and rehearsal spaces, and the accessibility of studios, workshops and warehouses.
“But we want Melbourne and Firbank Gymnasium to be known for their world-class cultural offerings – a city that dares to pursue curiosity and experimentation and invest in great ideas and new talent. In particular, the center will be the basis for students to start or explore a career in the arts, and, backed by the school’s business research offerings, will make the arts career a viable future for all. ”
“The protection and creation of cultural infrastructure, such as this historic building, will take the innovative partnerships and funding models developed by the School, taking such spaces to a new level. We must ensure that culture is recognized as an integral part of education. Firbank Gymnasium honors artists, musicians, writers, filmmakers and designers, and we are ready for them to be able to live and work here, now and in the future. ”
How the precinct arose
The original Firbank Gymnasium Hall (1909), named after Melbourne architect Louis Williams, who renovated the hall in 1918 and 1922, has been transformed into a significant cultural and creative site in line with new bold plans to create a number of world-renowned academic sites.
The arts section is dedicated to all kinds of creativity, including performance, dance, digital and studio art, with the latest technology installed. With state-of-the-art equipment and acoustically designed facilities, this is the latest addition to the Brighton campus. The campus already has special science, math, sports (including water), music and VCE areas. Subsequent site plans include a specialized wellness area that houses medical, sports, and psychological spaces for activities such as yoga. Next on the planning list are other welfare services.
Building fund donors, MPs, mayors, councilors, art advocates, education experts and other VIPs will unveil a 1555 m2 three-level building on the red carpet on May 27, 2022 from 6.30pm The community is invited to join the celebration. at 7.30pm at the opening and exhibition, which will feature works by curatorial artists from prominent Victorian artists – past and present – student works and special works donated to the school for the event from private collections. These works include works by Moya Dying, Lynn Miller, the Seven Sisters and other Archibald nominees, as well as valuable contemporary art from the collections of prominent members of the Firbank Gymnasium community. This exhibition will be the first for an Australian high school.
Project manager Samantha Beveridge says the project was a historic journey. She said: “We found the original fonts, [thought to have been used when the building was a boarding house], hidden behind the walls of the dado. We also found evidence of a previous fire when the premises were reconfigured. ” She said many unique features have been improved, such as Juliet’s original balcony, which now faces new stained glass, designed by 11th-grader Veronica Sina-Bandos, which provides a beautiful blend of new and old.
Andrew Headbury, CEO of Harris HMC, said that artistic beauty and innovation are at the heart of interior design. He noted that Harris HMC is proud to have built a beautiful and valuable space that would stand the test of time. “We look forward to working closely with Grammar School Firbank and a team of consultants to create a new art facility that will enrich the life of the Gimmar School Firbank community for years to come.”
The architects of the PTID project say that creating artistic spaces for the school requires matching the school’s unique pedagogy with an architectural solution that will sustain and enrich the learning experience by acting as a “third teacher”.