Golden Square Primary School

Project Details

Architects
K2LD Architects

Award
Commendation Category 1: Entire New School

Address
19 MAPLE STREET GOLDEN SQUARE VICTORIA 3555

Submitter
Tisha Lee

Cost
10, 737,084

Project Overview

Golden Square Primary School is a project about bringing two schools and two communities together to form one school neighborhood. In workshops students provided the idea of a ‘Tree House’. The architectural, master planning and education responses brought these communities to play, explore and learn at the ‘Tree House’.

Jury Citation

This project exemplifies the amalgamation of two local primary school communities to form one connected community. The idea of a playful, fun, and exploratory tree-house is evident in the planning and built outcome, and this serves as a strong metaphor for this merged community that was previously dispersed on Laurel and Maple Streets. The project team is congratulated for the clever use of the site and the student-centred design processes, which have informed the inclusion of spaces of variable scale, and the beautiful execution of the project narrative.

The simplicity of the exterior form, unification of the interior and exterior, careful application of the colour palette, spatial permeability, and planning has created a welcoming and engaging learning environment.

The interior benefits from framed views of the natural environs and is enriched by books, comfort, and accessibility. Clever use of pods, playful cubby spaces, and break-out spaces define spatial sequences. The exterior provides longevity and a simple articulation of the connected building forms.

The Principal’s reference to the architect’s ability to be sensitive towards different users is compelling and critical on a merger where only one of the sites could be selected. Extensive consultation and the creation of functional and productive spaces that retain the clarity and integrity of the tree-house idea shone through.

The reference to the architects becoming life-long members of the school community is a delight to read and well-deserved. Congratulations on resolving a six year amalgamation process with such a strong and well executed learning environment.

In June 2009, the decision was made to merge Golden Square PS and Maple Street PS, two quite autonomous school communities each with their own strong identity. From the onset, K2LD facilitated the visioning and delivery of the schools’ new united campus, with great sensitivity to differing community opinions.

Due to the tight site constraints it became evident very early in the design process that the new buildings would have to be double storey in nature, more so with twice the population on an already small site. The Masterplan therefore consolidates that building to the north of the south to maximize play protected play areas to the south. A central administration and specialist building, housing reception, office, art, library and staff facilities, is flanked by two learning community wings of 4 learning communities in total each of approximately 100 students. Flexible learning spaces that focus around central collaborative spaces with meeting rooms are strategically placed, creating partial barriers between homerooms that still encourage interaction and facilitate surveillance between the spaces. The practical planning of the spaces was the product of numerous workshops to seek consultation on everything from the angles of walls through to the colours of carpet and paint.

With the sentiment involved with the closing one of the Schools’ it was integral that the design generate excitement and be demonstrative of a new way of operating. Through “visioning workshops”, the idea of the ‘Tree House’ was born. Inspired by students sketches it became the device to find a single expression that met the school’s practical needs, whilst at the same time was playful and engaging. The double-storey configuration fed into the tree house concept, allowing for ‘trunk’ and ‘canopy’ inspired levels each with their own identity and ownership of the residing students. The same playfulness of the tree –house concept also finds itself in the landscape with zigzagging paths, a boulevard of trees for shade and multiple dedicated play areas for quiet and active sports.

This page last updated: Tuesday 24 May 2016