St Mary's Primary School, Darwin, NT, 2010

AIA (NT) Tracy Award, 2011
AIA (NT) Urban Design Award, 2011
AIA (NT) Colorbond Steel Award, 2011
AIA National Urban Design Award commendation, 2011

Staged over four years, this project was completed in 2010. It draws together school and cathedral elements to create a new community space for both.

"The interventions of shade structures, an early learning centre, a hall and a library transform the primary open space of St Mary’s School from a courtyard into a village. This re-imagining of the school precinct from one static space to a number of dynamic spaces will increase the potential for school activities and enhance the teaching mission of the school.

An architectural replacement was needed for a series of large trees removed from the school courtyard. The architect’s solution to this challenge, using a fragmented group of shed roofs, elegantly references the previous natural canopy without being too literal and provides amenity with a sense of intangible openness.

The new facilities help define linked and overlapping activity nodes that can provide for both larger and smaller gatherings, expanding across the open space network as required. A layered, structural system of elements reaches out from supporting columns to embrace space and to allow light to penetrate to the schoolyard below.

The careful modulation of built and open space within the project extends the school footprint towards the cathedral, essentially completing the precinct by drawing the cathedral into the composition as one edge of a larger complex of spaces."

- Jury Citation, AIA 2011

Return to GONGS