Annie Hughston Centre, Fintona Girls’ School

Annie Hughston Centre, Fintona Girls’ School

Student
Experience

Transforming
the Campus

When it comes to inspiring women to pursue a career in science, technology, engineering, mathematics or design, one place we can start is our schools. By embedding these disciplines into the fabric of a young woman’s upbringing, their possibilities for exposure, learning and connection can grow. The Annie Hughston Centre is a new two storey educational building at Fintona Girls’ School in Melbourne, Victoria that is opening possibilities for the next generation of women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and beyond. Our design provides a new, contemporary identity for the School’s Mathematics and Science precinct, while embracing the charm of Fintona’s historic buildings and beautiful grounds. Named after the School’s founding Principal, The Annie Hughston Centre contains a mix of flexible classrooms, laboratories, and collaborative study areas, encouraging student’s experimentation, connection, and inspiring ideas. The educational facility will play a big role in shaping the way young women learn, the relationships and memories they form during their education, and their career paths.

  • Sector

    Education

  • Key Lyons contact

    Corbett Lyon
    Victoria Read

  • Client

    Fintona Girls' School

  • Collaborator

    ASPECT Studios

  • Address

    79 Balwyn Rd, Balwyn VIC 3103

  • Traditional land

    Located on the traditional lands of the Wurundjeri people

  • Size

    2825m²

  • Project status

    Completed, 2021

State-of-the-art student facilities

We worked closely with project stakeholders and members of the wider school community to design a facility where students would want to spend time and academically thrive. The building’s conception alone brings STEM to the forefront of student’s minds, opening important possibilities for young women. Commenting on the success of user input during the design process, past parent and architect Corbett Lyon said, “This was a fabulously collaborative project from day one. A stakeholder user group led by the School Principal involving staff, students and Board members. The end result is a testament to their engagement and commitment to delivering an outstanding project.”

On the ground floor meeting rooms, classrooms, labs, a design studio and flexible breakout spaces offer opportunities for collaboration, relaxation and study. Upstairs, the collaborative learning environment continues with flexible learning spaces that can also be used for larger school functions. Open staff spaces and adaptive student spaces create a community hub feel to support learning and strengthen student’s sense of place. The facility is filled with natural light and views out to the campus, an important feature to connect the new building back to the rest of the school. Other features include state-of-the art laboratory spaces with the versatility to cater for students of all ages, seamless ICT connectivity and audio-visual capabilities, writable surfaces for problem solving and collaborative activity, built in lockers and small study nooks.

“We can’t wait for this building to be full of the girls who are lucky enough to go to Fintona so that they can build out some of their brightest and boldest ideas and help shape not just a better Melbourne, but a better Australia and a better world.”

Dr Brownyn King AO, Fintona Alumni 1992 & Founder, Director & CEO of Tobacco Free Portfolios

Blending a contemporary identity into a historic campus

Fintona’s identity is intrinsically linked to its campus, with heritage buildings and landscaped outdoor spaces having long been admired. Our design for the Annie Hughston Centre does justice to the historic buildings while contributing an exciting and innovative new chapter for the school.

Commenting on the impact of the new facility The Hon Josh Frydenberg MP, Federal Member for Kooyong, Treasurer of Australia, Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party said, “It’s a centre that’s focused on science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Science and technology is going to help drive our economic prosperity in the future as well as our environmental sustainability.”

“This was a fabulously collaborative project from day one. A stakeholder user group led by the School Principal involving staff, students and Board members. The end result is a testament to their engagement and commitment to delivering an outstanding project.”

Corbett Lyon, Director of Lyons

The building’s form is derived from organic cellular geometry, curving to perfectly fit the campus. The corbelled brick pattern of the façade’s is created with undulating brickwork designed using algorithms that translate mathematical and scientific equations into 2D imagery. Aesthetically pleasing from the outside, the curved design creates functional internal spaces. Grampian Blues brick is the principal external material, used to complement the colour palette and textures of the campus and neighbouring buildings. New brick paving extends existing pathways through the rest of the campus to ensure the Annie Hughston Centre is connected to the other buildings. The spatial arrangement of the outside seating is inspired by the Fibonacci sequence, another nod to the science discipline.

“It’s a centre that’s focused on science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Science and technology are going to help drive our economic prosperity in the future as well as our environmental sustainability.”

The Hon Josh Frydenberg MP, Federal Member for Kooyong, Treasurer of Australia, Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party.

Key Contacts