Galilee Regional Catholic Primary School

Designing vertically on an inner-city site to maximize connections with community, surrounding context and the outdoors

Location: Wurundjeri Country, 301-319 Bank St, South Melbourne VIC
Status: Complete

Learning Environments Australasia Design Awards 2024 - New Building/s in an Existing School or Campus (Commendation)

The new 3-storey learning building at Galilee Regional Catholic Primary School optimizes a tight inner-city site by layering specialist and multipurpose spaces with outdoor learning environments in a heritage inspired vertical design.

This project forms stage 1 of a wider masterplan developed in collaboration with the school community. The aim was to maximise connections to the outdoors, existing buildings within the campus and the local community.

Incorporating bridges on each level of the new building allows it to seamlessly integrate with the existing buildings on either side and strengthens connections between the old and new learning environments.

An unconventional rooftop terrace creates an additional outdoor play area for students as well as a breakout space for the top level classrooms that wrap around it. A ground-level performing arts space opens out onto a competition grade basketball stadium, both areas that are widely used by the school and local community organisations.

The arches on the external fa├žade are a modern take on the surrounding heritage buildings and create a unique and welcoming street presence. To pay homage to the kindergarten that was previously on the site, we salvaged bricks and incorporated them into a curved garden bed at the main entrance.