Looking Back: The Gipson Commons

It was great to see The Gipson Commons forming part of Melbourne Open House 2019. Justine was Project Architect on this project during her time at Architectus and loved working on this innovative, education project alongside St. Michael’s Grammar School.

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Project Details

Architect: Architectus
Project Name: The Gipson Commons, St. Michael’s Grammar School
Role: Justine Brennan, Project Architect
Building Type: Educational
Status: Completed 2016
Photo Credit: Ian Davidson / Architectus

Design Details

St. Michael’s Grammar School presented the metaphor of ‘Spaces for Possibilities’ as part of their educational brief, which was translated into a spatial environment which encourages creativity through a collection of connected and varied learning spaces; a commons. A multi-storey teaching and learning development that successfully blends science, technology and library curriculum by creating different types of space that can be used for a multitude of functions.   

These different spaces take the form of smaller pavilions (acoustically isolated, structural, private) within larger bookable spaces (collaborative, social, open), allowing for informal learning to occur in the spaces between.

As Project Architect, Justine was responsible for the full project delivery of The Gipson Commons from inception to completion over a 5 year period (2011 – 2016) and played an integral part in the Revit documentation and consultant coordination on the project. This included early involvement with various stakeholder groups in the establishment of the school’s brief for the building, as well as facilitating user group consultation with both staff and student groups throughout the design process.


- Australian Institute of Architects: National Interior Architecture Award - Commendation. 2017
- Australian Institute of Architects (VIC), Interior Architecture Award - Award, 2017
- Association for Learning Environments Australasia, An Education Initiative/ Design Solution for an Innovative Program, Commendation, 2016
- Association for Learning Environments Australasia, Educational Facility Planning Awards (VIC): New Individual Facility, Commendation, 2016
- Australian Timber Design Awards, Timber Panels, 2016

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