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Birralee PS

Birralee Primary School is testament to what architecture can do to enhance the enjoyment of the day-to-day activities of a school community. This project strategically reconfigures a 1960’s LTC to create a more delightful sequence of indoor and outdoor play and learning spaces. An extremely limited budget demanded design precision in choosing what to add, adapt and retain to improve the overall experience for students, teachers and parents.

Here the role of architecture is less about elaborate detailing or flamboyant gestures and more about a subtle series of spatial restructurings and interventions to provide a coherent campus and enable a broader range of activities, which align with the school’s pedagogic aspirations. The design agenda therefore became one of stitching together two disparate existing buildings; a long linear low-lying 60s LTC building and recent freestanding BER library template building. The main additions include the administration and staff wing to the front, which provide the school with a greater sense of address to the surrounding community, and a substantial north facing verandah integrated with ramps and terraces to link the campus and supplement the new learning clusters with outdoor areas.

Birralee Primary School

Completed 2014
Winner 2014 AIA Awards: Public Architecture – Alterations & Additions
Photography: Derek Swalwell


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