St John Paul II College

St John Paul II College provides an innovative educational environment for secondary students of the Gungahlin community. 

Project Details

Location: Nicholls, ACT

Lead Architect: Andrew Collins

Completion: 2015

Builder: Richard Crookes Construction

Awards: Enrico Taglietti Award for Educational Architecture, ACT Architecture Awards 2016

Award for Sustainability, ACT Architecture Awards

Commendation for Public Architecture, ACT Architecture Awards

The architectural form is clear, simple and is conceived with an elegant material palette to assist with the articulation of the building form and scale. As the College meanders along the site, it forms a considered rhythmic composition, responsive to the implemented environmental approach and strengthened by the integration of highly detailed landscape. 



Every aspect of the building is designed to foster an inspiring environment in which to learn. The design response follows the briefing mantra of ‘Learning Everywhere & Anywhere’. All of the primary college functions are located directly off the centralised ‘Learning Street’ over both levels, including the Library, Hall, Canteen, Staff Areas, Performing Arts Centre, Student Resources and Chapel. The learning street maximises the feeling of openness with voids linking both floors via highly sculpted stairs. Floor to ceiling glazing link the learning street to landscaped courtyards and allow an abundance of natural light and fresh air.



Learning spaces, including the GPLA’s and Technical Areas, maximise flexibility and transparency to reflect current pedagogical trends. This allows strong connections with parallel activities of the college and subtle, seamless transitions between spaces. The learning spaces differ in scale and aesthetic to create interest, variety and support for the various learning theories and styles. They are visible through a minimal material palette and fine architectural detailing which allows identification of functions within the school and when viewed externally.

St John Paul College II is unique, bold, and creates moments of playfulness, allowing the staff and students to interact and experience the good of architecture. The totality and all-encompassing nature of this project creates an impressive architectural identity for the College and the community.