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Dominican heritage reflected in new learning hub


A large Celtic cross honouring the Dominican Sisters who came to South Australia from Ireland in 1868 was blessed at the opening of a new art, design and technology hub at Cabra Dominican College.

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The Angelico Centre was opened on February 24 by Sr Anne Dolan OP, Vicaress, Holy Cross Congregation.

Sr Anne shared her memories of being a student at Cabra in the 1960s, and the various places and ways they created art.

Clay that will be used by students to make crosses for classrooms was also blessed at the opening.

Dr Helen Riekie

Principal Dr Helen Riekie said the Angelico Centre was possible due to the collective wisdom, skill and work of many, including architects, builders and staff.

“I am delighted to open a spectacular facility for students to enjoy,” she said.

“We hope it inspires vibrant luminosity, that transforms students and their worlds going forward.”

Named after Renaissance artist and Dominican friar, Fra Angelico, the Centre was designed in 2021 after an extensive consultation with staff, students and the community.

It replaces the single storey Fra Angelico Manual Arts Building, effectively doubling the learning and teaching spaces, and has been in use since the commencement of the 2023 school year.

The front façade’s major design feature of the ‘wiggle’, as it became known during the design and building process, is a line, angle, and shape that mirrors elements of the other new buildings on campus and originates from the angles of the exterior staircase of the 1886 convent.

The ground floor includes a metal room with plasma and laser cutting machines, two woodwork areas and storage for projects and materials.

The upper level houses fashion design, ceramics, art and jewellery-making. A studio with an editing booth can be filled with light, picture and sound displays.

Sustainability initiatives include timed air conditioning, senso lights, window screens and fins designed to shield heat loads, evaporative cooling system on the ground floor for tech areas, CO2 monitoring with fresh air intakes, automatic window awnings, a 40kW solar system and permeable pavers in the courtyard.


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