Wednesday 21 May 2014

ArtsEdge at Locksley

On Tuesday 20 May, Professor Su Baker Director of Victorian College of the Arts officially opened the centre and unveiled the plaque.

The new redevelopment is a long way from Locksley House’s early days as a school boarding house, opened in 1924 by Prime Minister Stanley Bruce. It has had many incarnations since, including a World War II army base and a middle years' centre, and the versatility of the building is now truly apparent.

Designed by award-winning Melbourne architects Baldasso Cortese, the building is a unique reinvention of the original 1924 red brick Locksley House and with minimal changes to the building’s external fabric, it has an interior that belies a truly 21st Century open and contemporary learning space.

Ecologically sustainable development (ESD) principles were incorporated throughout the building by Builders, SJ Higgins Group including motion controlled lighting, thermal glazed windows and external louvers that automatically adjust based on the sun’s position.

The redevelopment has been greatly assisted by the generous gifts of members of our school family, including the Golden Family, Schuster bequest, the Ladies’ Association, Friends of Ridgeway Music and the support of the Class of 1982 in remembering their former schoolmate and Captain of Music, the Late Michael Gay.

The stunning panoramic views from the top floor provide a breathtaking vista which is energising in its capacity to inspire creative thinking and working processes and practices. The presence of this natural beauty, coupled with the strategic balancing of traditional and contemporary architectural elements has created interiors that are uplifting and exciting to be in.

Seven art studios, a purpose built Mac Lab, silk screening printing facilities, 2D and 3D studios are just some of the new features in this heritage building. New media technologies have also been incorporated with high definition television monitors in all studios to enhance contemporary learning practices. The Locksley Gallery houses a permanent art collection and exhibition space to showcase student artwork.

A state-of-the-art music rehearsal room for orchestra, band and choir with beautiful wooden floors and acoustically treated walls is being used by ensembles and has had a wonderful reception by students and staff alike.

The upper floor houses the new music and drama classrooms with brightly coloured walls and a zig-zag corridor which leads to the music reception and the eight upper music studios. A further six new music studios populate the ground floor with two double-piano studios, two large percussion studios for teaching tuned and untuned percussion and a professional audio mastering studio as well as a recording studio.

Theatre studies will be boosted with new drama classrooms, a dance studio, a performance theatrette, a green room and change rooms. This light filled contemporary space truly brings together Music, Theatre Studies and the Visual Arts in a new way and is testament to the importance of the arts at Ivanhoe Grammar School.