Arcadia designed the landscape for the modern, Brewster Hjorth designed O'Regan Arts and Cultural Common at Monte Sant' Angelo Mercy College in North Sydney. The performing arts building forms a new edge connecting to the existing heritage buildings, allowing Arcadia to create a new rooftop green courtyard, an upgraded entry to the school and landscaped terraces, with incidental seating provided for students through a range of steps and walls.
Arcadia was briefed to design a series of connecting outdoor spaces which could be used for flexible learning and performance. Arcadia's design creates a landscape language across the Monte site for more efficient way finding and visual continuity, whilst utilising vegetation types that fit within the established heritage gardens, grow successfully in the local surrounds and which help establish biological deversity on the Monte site.
The distinctive architecture of the performing arts building influenced elements of the landscape design. Arcadia used the language of the canopy design in the steel handrails used on site. The selection of accent lighting was significant, for effective night time use and also to create ambience for performing arts events put on by the school. Paving and walls feature strongly in the design, in retaining walls, garden beds, and to provide incidental seating for students to use during breaks and for outdor learning. Careful selection of exposed aggregate mixes for the paving enables different "classroom" areas to be easily identified.
A stand out feature of the project is the Corian feature walls, which gives visual impact to the contemporary approach to the new performing arts building and provides a striking contrast with the heritage chapel in the background. A large outdoor green breakout space has been introduced to the rooftop of the centre in the form of artificial grass – a minimal weight solution which also provides visual amenity to the local office towers.
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