This is Stage 1 of a new primary school that is reusing a 1970 three storey former Telstra training centre. As an unattractive soulless concrete building there were challenges to turn it into an inspirational educational space. The overarching design provides flexible, open learning spaces using materials that create a warm and natural atmosphere. Equally important was the need to produce a variety of differently scaled spaces to suit small children together with a high use of technology. While the existing concrete structure is partially exposed, timber floors and acoustic ceilings, movable screens, joinery that includes shelves, built in seats and withdrawal space, enable different teaching configurations.
A central spine defined by elevating it one step up creates a bridge connecting the length of the space. It also provides various learning spaces such as the floor section that is a collection of wooden boxes that children can remove and use as seats, whilst turning the pit into a reading or play space.
This design boldly removes all fixed walls between three teaching spaces. In their place are highly considered elements including: custom joinery, withdrawal spaces and reconfigurable sliding panels, either transparent or pin-boards. In the context of a school the true innovation here is in the flexible space and material selection.