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Brick as a material is deeply embedded in the psyche and history of Ambrose Treacy College. The relationship between brick and the college itself began in 1938 when Founding Director of Fulton Trotter Architects, Charlie Fulton designed the original heritage listed Edmund Rice building with brick. Having expanded from a middle school precinct to now educating young men in Queensland’s Indooroopilly from grades 4 to 12, the most recent Waterford Building is a fantastic piece of architecture, featuring a mixture of 4 beautiful PGH Bricks & Pavers ranges, producing a hit and miss brick pattern. The design integrates a bespoke blend of Black and Tan, St George, Red and Mowbray Blue.

Michael Andrews, Architect at Fulton Trotter Architects described the founding Edmund Rice building of 1938 as an exciting point of reference in designing the expansion of the new senior college precinct. “The Waterford building has drawn from the historical colour range and amplified it. We selected a mixture of PGH bricks for both their colour and textural qualities” Michael stated. “We were interested in how light and shadow would play on the surfaces.”

With the finer detailing being paramount to a worthy design outcome for the young men at the proud Queensland college, 87 metres in length of hit and miss brickwork was suspended and delicately detailed to generate a striking interplay of shadow and light. “The Edmund Rice building is an award-winning modernist building which includes some delightful brick detailing; details which are uncommon today” said Michael. “When designing the Waterford building, we took particular interest in how we might reference the original detailing and again, amplify it.”

Well established for their astonishing clean lines, smooth-face textures and manufactured to compliment the gorgeous Australian natural colours, the PGH Bricks & Pavers’ Smooth range was beautifully paired with the Velour range to achieve great tone and textural variation in the façade. The detailed laying technique compliments the Velour bricks, creating wonderful depth variation and helping to achieve the striking interplay of shadow and light.

Fulton Trotter Architects were able to add a beautiful contrast in the façade, by integrating the PGH Bricks & Pavers’ Hinterlands range. This traditional range of rough texture, square edged bricks provides a great connection between the existing heritage listed Edmund Rice building and the otherwise smooth-faced textures that have modernised the campus in the Waterford building. The PGH Bricks and Pavers’ Dry Pressed Architectural range was also integrated into the design with the authentic Mowbray Blue bricks in standard size to add a lasting visual reflection of the excellence that the college strives towards through an exceptional colour through brick that exuberates style.

Recounting the challenges faced by Fulton Trotter Architects, alongside builders, Bryant Building Contractors and Herron Coorey Building Contractors, and bricklayers, Hughes Brick and Block and Conquest Projects in accomplishing such intricate detail throughout the grand scale Waterford building, Michael recalls the hit and miss brick screen requiring construction over two stages. “Communication with the bricklayers was critical to achieve a uniform finish.” “It was a pleasure working with bricklayers who were motivated by the challenges that detailing presented. They were determined in achieving a quality finish that both the architect and the client were proud of.” Michael also recalls overcoming the significant challenge of specifying the correct materials to amplify the ambitious design. “Brick samples and the construction of sample panels orientated to catch the light were essential.” “The PGH representatives, and the quality and variety of bricks made the process of specifying the right product an ease” said Michael.

Utilising the mixture of four beautiful PGH Bricks & Pavers ranges and textures as a backdrop to the natural landscape, the Waterford building is now a haven for the most mature students at Ambrose Treacy College. Whilst connecting to the College’s historical roots of the original 1938 Edmund Rice building, the new senior campus is a magnificent bookmark reflection of the expanding modern College. This addition represents a transition for the graduating senior students, preparing them for bright futures and the new challenges ahead.

View the bricks used in this project:
Mowbray Blue, Dry Pressed Architectural Range
Red, Velour Range
St George, Hinterlands range
Black & Tan, Smooth Range
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