State-of-the-art Science Centre

14 December 2023

We are excited to unveil a new state-of-the-art Science Centre at the prestigious Ormiston College in Brisbane, replacing the original science building we constructed way back in 1991!

Education has come a long way since then, which is why Ormiston College came to us with a plan to modernise their science facilities with a world-class facility that seamlessly merged design and functionality.

We know Ormiston College well, having worked on various large projects across its life as one of Brisbane’s leading private schools – known for its academic and sporting excellence. This new Science Centre will offer unparalleled opportunities for aspiring STEM students and educators, now and into the future.

“I helped to deliver the first project for Ormiston College, back in 1991, so it was a real pleasure to be welcomed back to modernise the facilities at the school,” said Rohrig Senior Construction Manager, Robert Nott.

“While our original work has stood the test of time and provided an inspiring learning environment for generations of students, it is an honour to return and take the school into the future.”

Blueprint Architects was tasked with designing the future-focused Science Centre, opting for unique molecule-themed hexagonal features throughout. The inspiring molecular design language features across the facade, retaining walls, landscaping, seating, and acoustic ceiling tiles.

“When we approached the design of the Science Centre, Ormiston College held a strong position on the external building aesthetic, so far in that new buildings should harmonise with recent campus additions, to reinforce the unity of the campus built form,” said Blueprint Architects James Forbes.

“A cellular theme was taken through the building as a design thread to reinforce all facets of science, integrating cellular hexagonal components to ground and ceiling planes.

“The laboratory aesthetic provides a modern, clinical tertiary learning experience, within a well established and expansive landscaped campus,” he said.

Rather than stopping at just the building, this immersive design integrates with existing infrastructure to offer students and teachers an inspiring learning experience well before they enter the Science Centre.

First we had to demolish the existing building, which we built more than 30 years ago, to make way for the future. While undertaking demolition, existing classrooms were converted into a temporary science facility, ensuring student learning was uninterrupted. We also established site access through the vacant meadows backing onto the site, keeping students away from all site operations throughout the year-long project.

We also developed a life-size 3D model of the Science Centre, allowing educators to assess functionality, safety and overall usability of the various facilities. Everything from table heights to spacing between students was carefully critiqued, even lighting was carefully assessed to ensure shadows would not be cast across desk space.

When it came time to build the expansive new Science Centre, we discovered unsuitable ground which we rectified with a hybrid piling solution using timber and steel screw piles. We thrive when faced with challenges, quickly determining innovative solutions.

The new building consists of cutting-edge laboratories, chemical storage facilities, classrooms, offices, and amenities. But we didn’t stop there, also building lunch pods, seating, and an undercover amphitheatre outside. These outdoor features offer an uplifting entry point for students and teachers, with carefully curated landscaping to complete the experience.

Ormiston College is where our education excellence all began, so it is always a privilege to enhance the incredible school further. Whether a client is new or has been with us for more than 30 years, our projects stand the test of time.

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