Grote Street, Adelaide

The approach to adaptive reuse was total: all new works are designed to be removed if required

The State-heritage listed E.J. Woods model school (1875) was the first secondary school in the Commonwealth of Australia. Since its days as an educational hub, space has been used as a combined commercial space servicing multiple clients. Tectvs was approached to reinvigorate the masonry hall, providing contemporary services and spatial requirements to a centuries-old piece of South Australian Heritage. 


The response was two-fold yet singularly focused: adaptive reuse. For the main masonry hall, a floating mezzanine was inserted to facilitate the new spatial requirements but pulled back to allow double-height spaces to introduce light across existing and additions. In the ancillary spaces, the existing timber structure has been maintained and expressed.


Adjoining the main space, a modernist glass box addition was added at the rear to provide both services and social spaces. A floating glass corridor links the old and new whilst the glass-box addition retains the model school’s original stairs and handrails. Critically, the approach to adaptive re-use was total: all new works are designed to be removed if required. Insertions and extensions adjoin at key pick-up points, allowing the main architectural fabric of the building to not only be preserved but promoted alongside their contemporary additions.

 
 

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