Type to search

Ivanhoe Grammar School by McIldowie Partners boasts rooftop courts with spectacular views

Ivanhoe Grammar School by McIldowie Partners boasts rooftop courts with spectacular views


Located on a steeply sloping site along Ivanhoe’s iconic Boulevard, Ivanhoe Grammar School’s Sports and Aquatic Centre is a world-class sporting and education facility.  Mclldowie Partners were given a complex brief to achieve within a sensitive residential and landscape context. 

Can an education facility remain practical while still being aesthetically interesting?

According to McIldowie Partners, yes, especially when it comes to Ivanhoe Grammar School’s Sports and Aquatic Centre.

The building is organised by the courts, stacked on top of one another, with a circulation spine and entry pavilion to one side connecting additional support functions. 

The pool then sits proudly at the southern edge of the site accessing the spectacular views across the Boulevard and the Yarra River, bringing the landscape deep within the pool and adjoining courts.

“The design aims to bring the landscape deep within the building, with material choices first and foremost pragmatic and resilient but also in keeping with the texture and tone of the views across the Boulevard & Yarra River beyond, ” says practice founder John McIldowie.

Importantly, the design approach maintained the existing development plan envelope to minimise planning risk, which came with challenges.

“After extensive consultation with the school, the original brief was re-evaluated early in the project in order to future-proof the facility and ensure physical education, sports and community programs could all occur simultaneously,” says McIldowie. 

The revised brief was to provide four, instead of the original two, multipurpose basketball and netball courts, as well as a 50 metre pool, change facilities, a weights room, aerobics and yoga studios, classrooms, staff offices and a kiosk, which took the project brief far beyond that of the approved development plan.” 

To overcome this challenge, the design response was to drop the courts below ground level, stacking them on top of one another, with additional rooftop courts which activate the rooftop and open up views from within the campus across the Yarra River and the city beyond. 

This visually connects the building with the main school oval and maximises land value with active student learning and recreation spaces.

Photography: Peter Bennetts

Discover Adam&Arthur, a combined practice by product designer Adam Goodrum and straw marquetry artisan Arthur Seigneur.


You Might also Like

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *