On Thursday 30 January, Arden Anglican School held a ribbon cutting ceremony to commemorate the first day of teaching and learning in ‘Essex’, a five storey redevelopment of their Secondary Campus in Epping.
Architects, Stanton Dahl, along with builders Lipman Group, have created a resourceful and seamless connection between Arden’s existing building and the new structure. The entire campus has been reimagined and the result is a logical layout and flow between the two facilities. Featuring biophilic design and environment friendly technology, this new 21st Century building is both impressive and functional.
“The new building creates a learning hub within the Secondary School campus,” said Mr Matthew Mallison, Head of Middle School, “centralising facilities geographically, both horizontally and vertically”.
Other features include new administration and student services centre, Science laboratories, Food Technology kitchen, Resource Centre, Technology workshops, Multimedia and Design laboratories, two multi-purpose courts and a rooftop passive recreation area. Located in the heart of this new building is the Arden Creative Arts Centre. This space, around which there is much community anticipation, will seat 600 guests and is designed to be utilised by all students from Pre-school to Year 12. “It is the space where we will gather as a community, where we will worship, celebrate, perform and entertain,” said Principal, Mr Graham Anderson. “It is the spiritual and cultural heart of Arden and we give thanks to God for the provision of our new vertical Secondary School,” he added.
Just as in 1922, when Arden was founded at Beecroft, and which continues to be the School’s Junior School campus, the School has continued a special connection to Shakespeare’s ‘Forest of Arden’. On arrival at the School’s reception you are instantly struck by a stunning two storey installation to welcome guests. Featuring fabric panels, vinyl decals and floating foliage, it depicts a contemporary low-poly interpretation of The Forest of Arden. This feature creatively connects the School’s Christian Values, the Garden of Eden, the leafy environment of the Beecroft campus and the notion of students flourishing at the School.