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St Michael’s Grammar School – The Gipson Commons

Architect: Architectus

South | S26

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The Gipson Commons is the fusion of knowledge, science, food and recreation. At ground level, the building works seamlessly with the ground plane – revealing from the north a cafeteria space that is at one with the landscape. This is the true entry to the building. The connection with Redan Street to the south is far more subtle. St Michael’s did not want a building that was ostentatious; they wanted a building that sat comfortably within its residential context. The stairway to the upper levels marks the transition into more dedicated spaces for learning. The uppermost floors of the building are dedicated to a hybrid Science/Knowledge facility, where practical areas are defined by the need for specialist services and the interstitial space can be used in a myriad of ways. Reflective zones are generally located away from the social centre. The central atrium connects the specialist and general learning spaces, promoting ‘possibilities’ through varied and targeted use of space. This central space is the physical manifestation of ‘The Commons’ as an area that is used and enjoyed by all. The ‘spaces for possibilities’ metaphor was used by St Michael’s to describe their physical brief. The Balinese House was the architectural concept used to order the physical brief. Visually and acoustically screened pods provide an array of learning environments and opportunities – these are the possibilities. 

Need to Know

  • Open: Thursday 1 January 10am-4pm

  • What's Open: Ground floor, Level 1 and Level 2. Offices within the building will remain closed

  • Special Note: Security will conduct bag checks on exit

  • Tour Type: S26

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  • Tour Details: First release Friday 13 July 8:30 am until booked out, second release Friday 20 July 8:30 am until booked out, small booking fee applies. Tours at 12pm, 2pm, running for 40 minutes, in groups of 50

  • Access: Pram accessible, Fully accessible

  • Building Type: Education

  • Facilities: Toilets, Food and beverage available

  • Special Programming: Face painting for kids in cafe Jazz quartet performance at scheduled times

  • Year Built: 2016

  • Website:

  • Transport: Tram stop: Chapel St/Dandenong Rd route 5 and 64

  • Photo Credit: Trevor Mein, Ian Davidson


25 Chapel Street, St Kilda 3182, VIC


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