Merri Creek Primary School images/1949.jpg

Merri Creek Primary School

The initial design approach was to address the broader planning of the school as a whole, ascertaining the different functions of the various areas and identifying an overall hierarchy for the spaces. As part of the masterplan, we sought to clarify circulation paths and strengthen interior and exterior connections for students, teachers, visitors and after-hours users. The existing classrooms were generally cellular in nature with minimal physical connection with the outside, foyers, corridor spaces, and other classrooms. There was also an opportunity to introduce better visual aspects into the interiors and also to enable indoor and outdoor, teaching and learning spaces, which accommodate formal and informal interactions.

The school lacked street presence and connectivity to the surrounding community, the new building is identifiable and engaging, the new formal entry is welcoming and open to the broader school campus. The building comprises of three learning ‘neighbourhoods’ and a music school split across two levels, with a roof deck on top which acts as an external learning environment and play space during lunch/recess. Each learning neighbourhood contains three home rooms, a withdrawal area, a common space that includes a wet area and bag storage, access to a resource room and a staff area nearby. The spaces are designed to be visually connected and capable of being opened to allow for collaboration between the classrooms.

Interior fit out works to the existing buildings improve the quality of spaces, enhance functional relationships and develop continuity between the various parts of the campus. The School was very interested in providing adaptable teaching spaces, with classrooms that can be closed off for focused learning, or opened up for teamwork and interaction.

The new sports fields and associated fencing and equipment provide a flexible and adjustable area for play and learning.

Status: Completed 2020

Client: Victorian School Board Authority

Photographer: Rory Daniels