Extensive collaboration and an evidence based design approach for Throsby Primary in Canberra’s north will yield a bright, modern facility due to open in 2022.
It will cost $43.9 million and will cater for 450 kindergarten to year 6 students plus 123 preschool students, with room to grow.
The school is divided into learning neighbourhoods and each offers a variety of room sizes and allow for adaptation during the school year.
Focused learning and creative exploration are balanced by quiet nooks where students can withdraw when feeling overwhelmed and outdoor learning courts offer access to nature based learning, creative investigative activities and play.
The school has a two-level composition, the Library is located on the upper floor with north facing views over the school courtyard and surrounding landscape and the main building maximises good solar orientation and provides an inner courtyard.
Visitors enter via a civic forecourt and outside of school hours the hall can be booked by the local community providing a source of income.
The entry and reception have been configured to provide a gallery for the presentation of student work and a venue for social activities.
Extensive, landscaped external play areas feature a range of age appropriate play spaces and kickabout spaces. Several protected trees and native grassland have been thoughtfully integrated into the landscape design, ‘grounding’ the buildings into the landscape.
A dual court multi-purpose gym delivers twin netball courts while the adjacent performing arts space lends itself to large scale presentations and serves as an assembly area. The space also provides a setting for the school’s before and after school care program.
Architecture and interiors practice Gray Puksand designed the school and have been undertaking projects in Canberra for the past decade. The practice has opened a new studio in Canberra to join other offices in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.
Managing partner Stephen Turner says the new studio is part of the firm’s long-term plans to increase local participation and geographic presence in Canberra.
“Canberra is slated to undergo a significant period of development and we are playing a role by investing in the future of the city, through both our projects and local presence,” says Turner.