Mutchmor School Proposed Additions

This photo shows the original 1895 section of Mutchmor School (photo credit Mike Kamermans, Flickr, Aug 18, 2011)

Architect Barry Hobin (and Associates) is going to be doing the design for the upcoming Mutchmor school addition and if you missed the open house a few days ago, you can see the proposals here: and here.

I’m not sure I like the new design…it is not sympathetic with the original historic structure and does not appear to take into consideration the heritage characteristics of the heritage designation.

Addendum: Read a more detailed study of the heritage value of the school by heritage conservation architect Ken Elder.


2 thoughts on “Mutchmor School Proposed Additions

  1. I’ve had 3 kids go through Mutchmor and we used to live within a block and a half of the school, so I’m very familiar its design, layout, and issues. Although I like what I see with regards to the layout (the courtyard will bring some light into the center of the building, and access to the gym will be much-improved), it doesn’t take any genius or great thought to come up with solutions like this. The bulk of the real design work lies in not cocking up an almost-120 year old institution.

    This design looks on the one hand like one of the many Hobin-designed (or Hobin-inspired) infills in the Glebe and alternately like some cheap 60’s/70’s repetitive-geometry-fueled attempt at disguising the fact that the design is just a box. Why are modern architects so afraid of decoration? Is it too expensive? Do we not have the skills to create concrete or metal forms that echo the traditional elements in the existing design? I suppose that Hobin looked at that depressing existing elevation (in his power point) and noted that the most recent additions just got cheaper and duller and decided that whatever he was going to do, it would glow and shine like some kind of exciting, modern jewel (rather than just another addition blended in). Well, the influences he illustrates as examples certainly support that argument (except that someone has to tell the architects that the vertical white stripes are way out of fashion), but what he ended up with looks decidedly unexciting and suburban. I suppose it will please the immediate neighbours somewhat as it literally looks like another house on the block, but he can do better and the community deserves better.

    • From what I gather, the Glebe Heritage Committee has sent a letter off to the architect and the school board with regards to the problem of the unsympathetic design. I’ll see if I can get a copy of it and post it shortly.

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