Inspiring stem leadership through built design

25 May 2020

In June 2019 Lendlease Building was appointed Managing Contractor to deliver the Science Learning Centre at Brisbane Girls Grammar School located in Queensland, Australia.

Cherise Czislowski

Construction Manager, Lendlease

Constructed over seven levels, the Science Learning Centre will significantly increase the number of laboratories at Girls Grammar while also offering recreational and multi-functional spaces to benefit all students and the broader School community.

A key feature of the building is the internal void with an ‘open roof’ incorporating curved glass reinforced concrete feature cladding and inspired by Einstein’s ‘Space-Time Continuum’.

As both Construction Manager for the project and an alumna of Brisbane Girls Grammar School, I have a close connection to the Science Learning Centre and hope that this building becomes the spark that initiates the curiosity that will drive greater female participation in STEM education. 

When the project was initiated, the School decided that students should be involved in the construction process as a key priority. Through this, our project team have had the privilege of introducing students from Years 7 to 12 to the construction process, providing them firsthand insight into the technical aspects of building a concrete structure.

The Science Learning Centre has now reached a significant milestone with the main structure complete and officially ‘topping out’.

I speak for all of us when I say that we feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to work on such an innovative project - one that will have such a far-reaching impact on the education and the lives of so many young women. 

Managing risk is par for the course in construction, however, while we aim to prepare for as many eventualities as possible, our Risk Register did not include a global pandemic. What I can say, is that thanks to the resilience, creativity and conscientiousness of everyone involved in the project, construction has continued safely and productively. During this time of upheaval, we can deservedly take a moment to pause and appreciate the new perspectives that the top of this building now offers.

The ‘Topping Out’ ceremony is a tradition that Lendlease adopts across many of our Projects, because we see the value in gathering the community to celebrate and welcome new buildings as soon as they take shape. We hope that this tree brings not only luck to the rest of the project, but a sense of goodwill for the life of the building.

The Science Learning Centre will continue to take shape over the coming months with works commencing on the internal fit-out and completion of the signature façade.

In addition to reaching practical completion, I am motivated by the prospect that one day this building may inspire my two young daughters to pursue a career in Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics and know that there are no limitations to what they can achieve.