Under construction: The Friends’ School Redevelopment

Posted on Jun 29, 2021

H2o architects is excited to see the new Sports Centre underway at The Friends’ School’s Commercial Road campus in North Hobart. This is the first built project to emerge following the initial masterplan undertaken in 2016 by H2o with Bence Mulcahy for the school’s Commercial Road and Argyle Street campuses.

Founded in 1887, The Friends’ School is the first co-educational private school in Australia and with 1300 students, it’s also the largest Quaker school in the world. Also designed by H2o architects with Bence Mulcahy, the cutting-edge sports facility will be at the centre of a new recreational hub, acting as an interconnected web joining previously disparate buildings and spaces across a number of levels.

Completion of the Sports Centre will also pave the way for the innovative second stage of the redevelopment, the conversion of the existing WN Oats Sports Hall into a two-level learning centre at the heart of the campus.

The proposed refit of the existing sports hall is a pioneering approach not previously seen in education design in Australia. While the generous dimensions of a standard school gym make it well-suited for two storey regeneration, such facilities are not usually reimagined for new purposes.

Currently under construction by Fairbrother builders, the new Sport Centre is due to open in 2022.

The School’s ideals of Simplicity, Peace, Integrity, Community, Equality and Stewardship are central to the design, with the new Sports Centre helping to build and strengthen the school community while supporting students’ long-term health and wellbeing.