This project involves the growth of Mary Immaculate Primary School from a 2-stream to a 3-stream school.
The school is flanked by open playgrounds and a Cumberland Plain Woodland area. Several of the existing buildings on the site have been removed to allow for a denser-built footprint to meet the enlarged programmatic requirements, enabling the retention of open play space and bush areas.
All new buildings are single-storey, creating excellent connection between indoor and outdoor learning spaces.
The masterplan concept created a curved pedestrian circulation connecting the main entrance on Emerald Drive with a secondary entrance on Aquamarine Drive. The new buildings are like “ribs” radiating from the curved circulation spine. The form of the new school frames a landscaped amphitheatre and stage which can be used for outdoor events and activities.
The new Administration building is re-located closer to Emerald Drive providing a more defined entrance and control over entry to the site.
A ‘nature walk’ will be created to facilitate outdoor learning in the remnant woodland. The elevated paths will meander through the existing trees to limit changes to the natural environment and habitat. The intention is to create an organic landscape which intentionally contrasts with the more formal design of the buildings.
The architecture of the new buildings is designed to harmonize with the remaining existing buildings. The concept is to use relatively neutral base colours with bright colour accents, and to create interesting and engaging spatial experiences.
Shaded clerestory windows in the classroom blocks bring in high-level natural light, as do skylights in the Practical Activities areas between the classroom blocks. The ends of each “rib” are fully glazed creating a fantastic outlook into the woodland and provision of daylighting. These strategies will reduce energy consumption and provide a higher-quality learning environment.
A 29kW photovoltaic solar collection system has been installed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reliance on externally supplied power.