Hornsby, New South Wales
Set on a leafy campus in the Sydney suburb of Hornsby, the Barker College Senior School Hub is contemporary addition to the campus that feels like a natural extension of the school’s existing architecture.
With its distinctive structural frame made from engineered timber, the architecture is designed to connect the built environment with the natural world, creating a healthy, harmonious, and sustainable place of learning.
Taking cues from tertiary education, the enriching environment fuses traditional teaching with autonomous study and informal learning, preparing students for the next stage of their educational journeys. The new building also puts learning on display and sparks interaction between students and staff.
The indoor-outdoor ground level of the three-story Hub is the centre of campus life for senior students, while its upper levels feature a variety of academic workplaces, and teaching and learning spaces.
The building’s drawcards include a Dining Commons and shaded boardwalk for meals and gatherings, a Maths Courtyard for outdoor learning, and breakout spaces for student-led small group activities.
The benefits of biophilia
The architecture is designed to bring the benefits of biophilia to the school community through framed views, natural light, and fresh air.
The timber structure is exposed from within, deepening the connection to nature while reducing the building’s carbon footprint.
The Hub also incorporates rainwater harvesting, abundant daylight, natural ventilation, and passive heating and cooling to minimise its environmental impact.
A contemporary geometric façade expresses the language of mathematics, while an indigenous artwork above the main entrance is illuminated in the evening like the night sky, highlighting the school’s deep commitment to Aboriginal reconciliation.
Australian Timber Design Awards, Excellence in Timber Design (Commercial Buildings), 2023
Design competition winner