Bennett and Trimble were invited to design the facade of a new public primary school in Cammeray with a brief to make the envelope as dynamic and engaging as the proposed internal learning environments and spaces. Our proposal was developed within a large number of constraints as the project had been designed, approved and tendered with an alternative facade and was due to commence construction. Due to the accelerated program, the size and location of the windows, openings, overall envelope or structure could not be reconfigured and our proposal was required to be budget neutral.
The facade was re-imagined as a single element that is cut from a sheet of fabric and folded and slid over the proposed four level school. The classroom windows on each facade are consolidated as linear slots by slicing, scoring and folding the facade to form continuous deep sunshades that protect the predominantly east and west facing classrooms. These slots continue in some instances to frame covered outdoor spaces on each level that address playgrounds positioned on the existing grassed terraces of the site.
The facade pattern recalls traditional school uniforms with the dimensions and spacing of the stripes determined by the standard widths of corrugated metal sheets and the colours selected from the approved off-the-shelf range for long term durability and maintenance.
With William Phelps, Government Architects Office, NSW Public Works
Photography: Peter Bennetts