From an architectural perspective, we interpreted the school as being a walled city, linking small communal teaching spaces with open courtyards. The plan is arranged to produce several shared spaces, sheltered by the surrounding classrooms and community facilities. Furthermore, the teaching spaces are planned so that students move cyclically through the school, with their physical progression around the campus diagramming their educational progression from the Early Learning Centre, through to the final years of primary school.
Each learning community represents a different pedagogical model, expressed through different planning principles, driven by an overarching aim to improve literacy, numeracy and creativity in the students. In this way the planning endeavours to construct an atmosphere that facilitates a fluid and rich journey through the early years of early academic life.
From the outset, the community expressed an interest in the use of colour to provide warmth and vibrancy to an otherwise barren site. Taking inspiration from the rings of Saturn, we chose to band the outer wall in a playful gesture of colour and movement, and thus produced a wall that was both functionally protective whilst also being a civic gesture and an invitation to participate in the shaping of the suburb’s future.
The form of the wall itself silhouettes the architectural context of the school, mimicking housing, industry and the ecclesiastic.
Despite facing real constraints in terms of budget, bureaucratic stagnancy, and community diversity, the school has managed to develop a school facility that incorporates an Early Learning Centre, a major Gym Hall and performance area, a broadcast room, and industrial style community kitchen and gathering space, a food technology teaching area and an adult learning centre.
Furthermore they have managed to accommodate the almost doubling of their projected school population and now facilitate maternal and infant welfare services..