Project Barcelona - Building Update No. 1

Building Update - February 2014

This is the first in a series of regular building updates for Project Barcelona that will be published across the year. We felt it would be beneficial to provide updates particularly for the parent community who may not be able to regularly see the construction in progress.

Project Barcelona is the most significant building project to date at NBCS. The project is creating a new area that will be the heart of the campus – the epicentre of learning and community at NBCS. The project will provide exceptional new spaces for learning, gathering and administration, and will become the new signature building for the campus.

We have structured this first update as a list of frequently asked questions. Please remember that access to the building site is strictly prohibited at all times. All visitors to the school must report to Reception, located in the Gateway Building, which is the closest building to the main school entrance.

What are we building?

The project (including Stage 1) essentially includes 6 areas:

  • New administration building (completed 2013)
  • A large atrium space with food court and learning/gathering spaces
  • Year 11 and 12 study area
  • Learning spaces for Science
  • Student Services area with Student Reception
  • Senior Leadership Team collaborative work space

Where is it located?

The new building is located where A-Quad and the old Admin Building used to be. The building site also extends to the curved carpark area at the front of the school, next to the school entrance and Echunga Road roundabout.

What are the core principles behind the project?

The brief given to the architects included the following considerations:

  • To use glass, height, space, light and natural elements; to converge outdoor with indoor
  • To be a statement about school design and innovation; to embody our values for learning and encourage new paradigm thinking
  • To be resourceful with existing facilities; to re-energize and connect existing spaces in new ways
  • To use sustainability principles in design and in the on-going use of the building
  • To be highly intuitive about space design; to have versatility between spaces to learn and spaces to gather; to be imaginative in furniture design

Below are images of some of the spaces that inspired our thinking and the brief given to the Architects.


What are we building?


The largest component of the new building is an atrium space, more-or-less lining up with the former quadrangle and the area leading up to the Hub. The atrium is mostly open on the northern side, transitioning into a new landscaped area outside The Zone.

Treehouse and cafe

In the centre of the atrium is a raised, open learning space, to be known as The Treehouse. This space will be accessible via a staircase from the level below, or a bridge from the adjacent building. Underneath this raised area will be a new kitchen and serving area for the cafe and canteen, as well as places to sit and eat.

Town Square / The Jungle

The lower half of the atrium space will be known as the Town Square. This area will have a stage for performances, and a large staircase for seating and gathering. The upper section of the atrium will be known as The Jungle, and will have a number of spaces defined by landscaped areas.

The Loft / Senior Learning Centre

Along the southern wall of the atrium will be an L-shaped building with multiple levels. The upper level of this building includes the next iteration of The Loft, the study space for Years 11-12 students. On the lower level will be a new learning area for Science, as well as toilet and storage facilities.

Student Services

The Student Services section is adjacent to The Jungle (atrium), and includes a new Student Reception, First Aid area, and areas for the Pastoral Care staff and Relationships Team. On the level above this space will be a collaborative work space for the Senior Leadership Team.


Wasn’t a building just finished?

The new administration building, known as The Gateway Building, was completed in November last year. This building was the first stage of Project Barcelona, and needed to be built first before demolition of the old administration block could proceed. Both buildings were designed by the same Architects and share a consistent style and design language. The buildings will ultimately be joined by a common roof, and the area surrounding Reception and the entrance-way will be landscaped and finished as part of the next stage.


Where is progress up to?

Over the vacation period, the existing buildings and quadrangle were demolished and the rubble removed. The area is now ready for construction to begin, and earth-moving is currently taking place in preparation for laying the foundations.

When is the project expected to be finished?

Completion is scheduled for the first half of 2015. However, as with any building project of this size, there are many variables that may affect progress. Updates will be provided throughout the year as building progresses.