Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Primary School

Institutional / 3rd Quarter 2019

Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Primary School

September 27, 2019

By refurbishing an existing 1970s three-storey concrete building and adding a mass timber structure, Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Primary School is now enclosed in a high-performance envelope with light, airy interiors. The process transformed the run-down former training centre—a typical institutional example of brutalist concrete monolith of its time—into the first educational facility with engineered timber in Australia for 420 elementary students. The design is a realisation of the school’s vision of creating “beautiful, functional and agile spaces conducive to independent learning that engages and enthuses,” shared Cathy Young, the school’s principal. Importantly, it has also created an educational space that elevates well-being.


In stage two, a new hall, library with a suspended reading net, arts space, balconies and rooftop playgrounds were added to the school. A vast four-storey atrium acts as the main entry via a central circulation spine, connecting all educational areas on the upper levels of the building with the administration area and playground located on the ground floor. Classes are situated on either side of this large timber stairway, which also forms an extension to the learning spaces, further encouraging activity and interaction amongst the school community along this central circulation route. By removing most of the internal walls from the existing structure, classes can also gather on either side of an open timber corridor that runs the length of the campus.


Project NameOur Lady of the Assumption Catholic Primary School
LocationNorth Strathfield, New South Wales, Australia
Completion Date2019
Gross Floor Area5,200 square metres
Clients/OwnersSydney Catholic Schools; Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Primary School
Architecture FirmBVN
Principal ArchitectJulian Ashton; Knut Menden
Main ContractorStephen Edwards Construction
Civil & Structural EngineerTTW
Fire EngineerARUP
Mechanical/Electrical/Audio Visuals EngineerJHA Consulting Engineers
BCA ConsultantBCA Logic
Planner RobinsonUrban Planning
Quantity SurveyorWilde & Woollard
DDA ConsultantAccessible Building Solutions
Images/PhotosA00 Architecture; Nacasa & Partners

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