Harrison School Paint Scheme?

belray 19 January 2012 33

harrison school

Hi fellow rioters.

Since I drive along Flemington Rd on a regular basis, I always notice the Harrison School’s paint scheme.

I have to ask the question, who designed the paint scheme for some of the external panels?

I am no interior designer by any stretch of the imagination, but to my eye the colours don’t appear to match – some may say that the colours clash.

Is it an “arty-crafty” designer paint scheme, that you need to be an interior designer to appreciate?

UPDATE: In the interested of clarity ThisIsAName has been out to undertake a photo essay of the site. He had this to say:

Here are some shots of the new Harrison school. It is still under construction and strewn with fences and warning signs – it isn’t possible to get an overall shot of the place (short of climbing a massive tree). I also noticed there are solid metal fences between the buildings which prevent access to the grounds.

It looks as though 3 architects have been called in for: there are different styles for the preschool, sports hall and the new section.

Here’s a slideshow of his work:


What's Your Opinion?


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33 Responses to Harrison School Paint Scheme?
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JC JC 7:09 am 20 Jan 12

Bluey said :

Its not terrible. Now. Give it ten years. Like the rest of Gungahlin.

Im sure the designers of Red Hill Primary thought it looked great when it was built. Theres plenty of examples of ‘modern’ design in Gungahlin that looks flash now but will date and just look crap in time. Fortunately the new college escaped relatively unscathed of the ‘modernist’ colour palette.

Couldn’t agree more. I reckon the more modern houses in Gungahlin will not age that well compared with those in the older suburbs of Gungahlin and Canberra in general. Come 10 years time they will look dated beyond belief. The school seems to be just following the same design idea.

Jethro Jethro 7:15 pm 19 Jan 12

Mysteryman said :

Hideous and not fit for purpose? What are you smoking? That building is fantastic. It’s a wonderful blend of whimsical and practical.

You and I might be fairly alone in this assessment. It’s definitely one of the most criticised buildings in Canberra, but I love it.

Although, I must say that the museum’s architecture is one of the only things I like about the place. The permanent exhibitions don’t grab me at all.

HenryBG HenryBG 6:58 pm 19 Jan 12

Mysteryman said :

HenryBG said :

GardeningGirl said :

I’m all for interesting inspiring architecture for schools and going by those pics I’m undecided about that one,

What’s to decide?

It’s bloody awful – in the same vein as the absolutely hideous (and not-fit-for-purpose) National Museum: designed to help fill some idiot architect’s portfolio and probably incapable of keeping the rain out just like the new library in Civic.

Hideous and not fit for purpose? What are you smoking? That building is fantastic. It’s a wonderful blend of whimsical and practical.

Rubbish. Interstate visitors always tell me the place makes no sense, has very little content for the size of the building, and doesn’t seem to understand their indigenous collection.

fabforty fabforty 6:19 pm 19 Jan 12

I don’t mind this, but I agree with those who say it will date very quickly.

I still haven’t recovered from what they did to the hospital, though.

Deref Deref 4:39 pm 19 Jan 12

dpm said :

Deref said :

Garish colour schemes seem to be the current substitute for good architecture. You see a lot of it in Gungahlin.

You mean like this?

http://the-riotact.com/images-of-canberra-crace-a-place-like-no-other/23323

(Sorry, this is probably the third time i’ve linked back to this pic/post, but I just think it is gold – in a tragic way)

Yeah – that’s probably the best example anywhere.

“Mate, we’re going to make a mint on those new dogboxes we’re building.”

“Yeah, but they look like s***.”

“No worries. Remember that palletload of red and yellow paint we got cheap?”

dpm dpm 4:23 pm 19 Jan 12

Deref said :

Garish colour schemes seem to be the current substitute for good architecture. You see a lot of it in Gungahlin.

You mean like this?

http://the-riotact.com/images-of-canberra-crace-a-place-like-no-other/23323

(Sorry, this is probably the third time i’ve linked back to this pic/post, but I just think it is gold – in a tragic way)

woppadingo woppadingo 4:15 pm 19 Jan 12

Thats the Andrew Maconochie Centre, right?
They all look the same to me.
Everything in Canberra is since Belconnen Mall is legoland, or some bleak desolate set from Dr Who.
Its a crime.

Deref Deref 4:01 pm 19 Jan 12

Garish colour schemes seem to be the current substitute for good architecture. You see a lot of it in Gungahlin.

Gungahlin Al Gungahlin Al 3:19 pm 19 Jan 12

ThisIsAName said :

Gungahlin Al said :

Harrison Primary has used a number of colours throughout. Each building features tiled facade sections of a different colour (you can see them under the windows in these photos). It has been great as a parent to not have to remember the usual 3 or D block nomenclature and searching around for a hidden sign – we just use “the green building”.

The colour theming of individual buildings has been continued in the High School. It all looked fine in the 3D renderings and I think will look fine in reality once the additional visual noise of the hoardings has gone and the trees are in, just as the Primary School’s colour variety works fine.

The problem with 3D renderings is imagining on screen views as real buildings 🙂 Harrison school is pretty awkward looking from some aspects.

There’s an example of simpler coloured exteriors just north at the Mother Teresa school. Brightly coloured panels are limited to features/walls, each one uses only 1 colour. The effect is much more more moderated than Harrison, though I’m not sure about the use of really dark bricks. The street view is here: http://g.co/maps/66wdp

Is the lower building at the SW corner of the block (with the path leading onto(?) the Nullarbor Avenue roundabout) supposed to be the formal entrance?

There’s a lot more to the Mother Teresa School now since the Streetview was done, but yes the dark summer heat absorbing brickwork continues to dominate, whereas the public school is dominated by lighter colours for improved thermal efficiency.

The southwest high school building is the rear of the performing arts section, so effectively the ‘back of house’. But there has been a lot of attention to addressing the street well – something I particularly asked for.

On colours, I guess it has got people talking at least. Personally I’m relaxed about it. From my office window I look out over Unilodge, at white building with large expanses of grey, black, red, royal blue, bottle green, orange, and a very pale lemon. All in one building. Yet it works. Except for that lemon. How did a pastel sneak into such a vivid palette??

ThisIsAName ThisIsAName 2:43 pm 19 Jan 12

Gungahlin Al said :

Harrison Primary has used a number of colours throughout. Each building features tiled facade sections of a different colour (you can see them under the windows in these photos). It has been great as a parent to not have to remember the usual 3 or D block nomenclature and searching around for a hidden sign – we just use “the green building”.

The colour theming of individual buildings has been continued in the High School. It all looked fine in the 3D renderings and I think will look fine in reality once the additional visual noise of the hoardings has gone and the trees are in, just as the Primary School’s colour variety works fine.

The problem with 3D renderings is imagining on screen views as real buildings 🙂 Harrison school is pretty awkward looking from some aspects.

There’s an example of simpler coloured exteriors just north at the Mother Teresa school. Brightly coloured panels are limited to features/walls, each one uses only 1 colour. The effect is much more more moderated than Harrison, though I’m not sure about the use of really dark bricks. The street view is here: http://g.co/maps/66wdp

Is the lower building at the SW corner of the block (with the path leading onto(?) the Nullarbor Avenue roundabout) supposed to be the formal entrance?

Mysteryman Mysteryman 2:43 pm 19 Jan 12

HenryBG said :

GardeningGirl said :

I’m all for interesting inspiring architecture for schools and going by those pics I’m undecided about that one,

What’s to decide?

It’s bloody awful – in the same vein as the absolutely hideous (and not-fit-for-purpose) National Museum: designed to help fill some idiot architect’s portfolio and probably incapable of keeping the rain out just like the new library in Civic.

Hideous and not fit for purpose? What are you smoking? That building is fantastic. It’s a wonderful blend of whimsical and practical.

qbngeek qbngeek 2:23 pm 19 Jan 12

Gungahlin Al said :

BTW, the dark mini tomwers sticking up from the roof are thermal chimneys. They will get very hot in summer, creating a thermal syphon that draws a cooler air current through the building, thereby negating a/c need, coupled with high levels of insulation, shading and window improvements.

That is some frickin’ cool s*** for a school. I am glad to see that being sustainable is finally part of the design of public buildings. I oftem look at some building and wonder why they don’t run things like solar off the sides of them. Sky Plaza for example, having solar panels mounted on the top third of the Civic side of that building isn’t going to make it look any worse adn you could get a fair chunk of generation out of it.

The other thing that has had me wondering is rain water collection. I overlook Westfield Woden from my desk (and have the crack flats on the other side, so it makes for a great view [/sarcasm]) and have wondered if we could collect rainwater off it and store it to maintain green areas around Woden. I have also been researching micro-hydroelectric systems that can run in sewerage systems and how effective they are.

HenryBG HenryBG 2:03 pm 19 Jan 12

GardeningGirl said :

I’m all for interesting inspiring architecture for schools and going by those pics I’m undecided about that one,

What’s to decide?

It’s bloody awful – in the same vein as the absolutely hideous (and not-fit-for-purpose) National Museum: designed to help fill some idiot architect’s portfolio and probably incapable of keeping the rain out just like the new library in Civic.

puggy puggy 1:21 pm 19 Jan 12

Holden Caulfield said :

You’d be closer to developers than I’d ever care to be, but is it naive to think a developer actually cares about the quality of his product beyond the scope of dollars in pocket?

When (or if) the property market gets tougher for developers, hopefully it will matter. That development isn’t just bad, it’s like they’re flipping the bird at everyone who has to live in or around it. Did you know that the four bedroom units in there are spread out over three levels?! Also, I’m pretty sure that the only way you could turn into some of those garaging spaces is if you were on a bicycle. And one more thing, they haven’t even bothered to properly colour match the brown bricks!

miz miz 1:17 pm 19 Jan 12

Just goes to show how people differ. I dislike randomness and clashing colours (eg, hate the NMA), and therefore don’think much of the ‘look’ of Harrison school, Unlike Sammy, I think Chisholm High got it right – it has traditional clean lines yet is balanced. It also has the benefit of lovely greenery andshade trees, which helps. It will probably be a while before Harrison is softened by greenery, but only time will tell (is there enough space for trees?).

GardeningGirl GardeningGirl 11:22 am 19 Jan 12

ThisIsAName said :

Some intermediate form between drab grey/brown and garish would be better. I’m a bit surprised the developer didn’t just hire a designer to make a simple scheme around some nice complementary colours. It’d help with overall attractiveness and the buildings wouldn’t date as quickly 🙂

+1

I’m all for interesting inspiring architecture for schools and going by those pics I’m undecided about that one, it’s not as bad as I was expecting, but why can’t kids be exposed to something that’s interesting without being playroom garish. I think it will date, just like the grey brick and the two-tone blonde have, only worse because it’s so unsubtle.

Gungahlin Al Gungahlin Al 11:05 am 19 Jan 12

ThisIsAName said :

Gungahlin Al said :

Indeed. I go past the school twice a day and have never found myself questioning the colours.
Splashes of colour add so much.

Not even the green, orange and purple bits sort of nearish the yellow & orange stuff? 🙂

I spotted at least 12 different colours, not including the occasional tinted window.

Harrison Primary has used a number of colours throughout. Each building features tiled facade sections of a different colour (you can see them under the windows in these photos). It has been great as a parent to not have to remember the usual 3 or D block nomenclature and searching around for a hidden sign – we just use “the green building”.

A number of us on the High School Design Working Group would have preferred the new buildings to more closely mirror the skillion roof design of the Primary School. But there was a stronger driver in getting large expanses of roof at an optimum angle to allow them to one day host a large-scale solar farm, and thereby offset operational expenses.

The colour theming of individual buildings has been continued in the High School. It all looked fine in the 3D renderings and I think will look fine in reality once the additional visual noise of the hoardings has gone and the trees are in, just as the Primary School’s colour variety works fine.

BTW, the dark mini tomwers sticking up from the roof are thermal chimneys. They will get very hot in summer, creating a thermal syphon that draws a cooler air current through the building, thereby negating a/c need, coupled with high levels of insulation, shading and window improvements.

Holden Caulfield Holden Caulfield 11:02 am 19 Jan 12

Gungahlin Al said :

…GCC lodged an objection to that one, and won some concessions, got internal communal open space included and unit numbers reduced. But the underlying low-bar design was beyond the realm of a development assessment. I believe in time the developer of that one will be personally embarrassed to see their development standing side by side with the substantially higher quality of the one immediately to the north. Chalkcheese…

You’d be closer to developers than I’d ever care to be, but is it naive to think a developer actually cares about the quality of his product beyond the scope of dollars in pocket?

Therefore as soon as the property is handed over, I can’t see the developer caring what the longer term critique of his building is (so long as the courts/insurance companies aren’t involved, haha).

ThisIsAName ThisIsAName 10:46 am 19 Jan 12

Gungahlin Al said :

Indeed. I go past the school twice a day and have never found myself questioning the colours.
Splashes of colour add so much.

Not even the green, orange and purple bits sort of nearish the yellow & orange stuff? 🙂

I spotted at least 12 different colours, not including the occasional tinted window.

Gungahlin Al Gungahlin Al 4:44 pm 18 Jan 12

puggy said :

Gungahlin Al said :

…*some* of the apartments along Flemington Road.

I’ll say *some*. What’s the deal with the brown on brown new Ascot apartments on Flemington and Wells?! It’s either a little bit of Tatooine or Israeli settlements in Gungahlin, I can’t decide which.

Yes Puggy not pleased with those ones at all. Painting a rectangle of dark brown on the light brown background as a substitute for articulated frontages? Pathetic…

And the fact that every unit has tandem parking will make it all the more unattractive from from amenity perspective, plus add to the likelihood that resident cars will spill out onto surrounding streets, further affecting amenity for surrounding neighbours.

GCC lodged an objection to that one, and won some concessions, got internal communal open space included and unit numbers reduced. But the underlying low-bar design was beyond the realm of a development assessment. I believe in time the developer of that one will be personally embarrassed to see their development standing side by side with the substantially higher quality of the one immediately to the north. Chalkcheese.

For context, that design was done right when the GFC hit its height, and they weren’t the only ones who were unable to see more than two years into the future. The LDA were very keen to ensure a lowest-common-denominator option was allowed in the Flemington Rd corridor master plan ‘because otherwise the land wouldn’t sell’ given the GFC. Better to bank the land and wait two years then, we argued, than end up with a crappy product. They begged to differ…

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