Hartwell Primary School

Hartwell Primary School, Camberwell was built in in 1922 for 200 students with a traditional classroom layout.
Beginning in 2008 with the master plan, the school has undergone a total makeover based on the school’s clear sense of purpose – to provide contemporary learning spaces to support the schools’ constructivist pedagogy for 550 students.

Project Details

Architects
Baldasso Cortese

Award
Commendation Category 3: Renovation/Modernisation/Over $1m

Address
Milverton Street Camberwell Melbourne, Victoria 3124

Submitter
Hal Cutting

Cost
8,600,000

Photographer
Robert Hamer Photography & Jackie Winkelman Photography

Project Overview

Hartwell Primary School was built on a small site in Camberwell in 1922 for 200 students.

The original 2 storey brick building, with a traditional classroom layout was no longer supportive of the school’s pedagogical approach. With 7 different levels to contend with throughout both floors, no disabled access, a need to overhaul the whole of the electrical and IT infrastructure and with leaking roofs, it was time for an upgrade. 

The school had a clear sense of purpose when master planning began in 2008 – to provide contemporary learning spaces to support the schools’ constructivist pedagogy for a peak enrolment of 550 students. 
An Educational Specification was developed around this goal through a series of workshops, meetings and presentations. 

The educational specification defined the nature and requirements for each of the four ‘Learning Communities’ and also challenged the traditional roles of the Library and Art/Craft facilities. The outcome was that the Library was to be ‘deconstructed’ with the retention of a small ‘Library Hub’ and all other resources, functionality and area allocation of the traditional Library distributed equally between the four learning communities.
Similarly, the area allocation for Art was distributed to the learning communities to provide each with their own wet/construction area.
In developing the design, we were keen to provide seamless movement between all spaces at all levels to facilitate collaboration and to blur the edges between the old and the new. From the outside we were keen to maintain the integrity of the original building from the two main street frontages, while contrasting this building with contemporary extensions to the north and west. During construction, the school received $2.3m for a new learning centre which, together with expanding the original building, allowed the demolition of the Library and Art Craft buildings and the removal of all relocatable classrooms.

Consolidating the building footprint provided desperately needed play space and allowed a unified landscape proposal to be implemented.

Hartwell Primary School was built on a small site in Camberwell in 1922 for 200 students.

The original 2 storey brick building, with a traditional classroom layout was no longer supportive of the school’s pedagogical approach. With 7 different levels to contend with throughout both floors, no disabled access, a need to overhaul the whole of the electrical and IT infrastructure and with leaking roofs, it was time for an upgrade.

The school had a clear sense of purpose when master planning began in 2008 – to provide contemporary learning spaces to support the schools’ constructivist pedagogy for a peak enrolment of 550 students.
An Educational Specification was developed around this goal through a series of workshops, meetings and presentations.

The educational specification defined the nature and requirements for each of the four ‘Learning Communities’ and also challenged the traditional roles of the Library and Art/Craft facilities. The outcome was that the Library was to be ‘deconstructed’ with the retention of a small ‘Library Hub’ and all other resources, functionality and area allocation of the traditional Library distributed equally between the four learning communities.
Similarly, the area allocation for Art was distributed to the learning communities to provide each with their own wet/construction area.
In developing the design, we were keen to provide seamless movement between all spaces at all levels to facilitate collaboration and to blur the edges between the old and the new. From the outside we were keen to maintain the integrity of the original building from the two main street frontages, while contrasting this building with contemporary extensions to the north and west. During construction, the school received $2.3m for a new learning centre which, together with expanding the original building, allowed the demolition of the Library and Art Craft buildings and the removal of all relocatable classrooms.

Consolidating the building footprint provided desperately needed play space and allowed a unified landscape proposal to be implemented.

This page last updated: Sunday 2 December 2012