Title: Sandringham Primary School Rebuild Project
Producer: Victorian School Building Authority
Victorian School Building Authority - Sandringham Primary School Rebuild Project.
Louise Neave, Principal, Sandringham Primary School.
Hi everyone, I’m Louise Neave principal of Sandringham Primary School.
The rebuild of our beloved school is an exciting project for both our current school families and the broader Bayside community. The opportunity to combine the rich history of Sandringham Primary School with contemporary facilities, is a truly inspiring prospect. I am particularly pleased to be introducing a school design that addresses several key education principles, which I hold dear. Learners and learning will be central, nurtured through knowledge sharing and collaboration for staff and students.
A school is a place to belong and feel a sense of connection and Sandringham Primary is well known for representing these values in Bayside, through a long history of engagement and local involvement. We will continue to nurture a safe haven for all members of the community to connect, participate, learn and belong, where each and every Sandy Primary student will have the opportunity to thrive.
It is people, who will truly shape the future of Sandringham Primary School, the teachers, students, parents, grandparents, carers, past students, and supporters that have created the legendary Sandy Primary School spirit.
Artists drawing of several students in uniform standing beneath the Sandringham Primary School logo.
It is this unwavering spirit, and love of our school, along with inspired plans, to be presented here today that will give Sandringham Primary School the bright and prosperous future that this historic school deserves. I feel privileged to lead Sandy Primary at this important time in our history and would like to thank our school council and our broader school community for your continued support. It is now my pleasure to introduce our design partners in this project, the talented team at Peter Elliott Architects. Since their appointment we have built a strong working relationship, and it is reassuring to know that our design of our school is in the hands of such an established architectural and urban design practice.
Adjunct Professor Peter Elliott, Director of Peter Elliott Architecture + Urban Design.
Hello, my name is Peter, I'm the principal of Peter Elliott architecture and urban design. We're the fortunate practice that have been appointed to help rebuild Sandringham Primary School. We think this is a great opportunity and a real privilege to be able to work on this project.
One of the things that's made it difficult for us is obviously the COVID thing. We can't meet the school community. We're doing everything remote and whilst that's working quite well, it's a frustration for us that we don't get to meet everybody that we'd love to meet. On the other hand, the team that have been working on it, have been really wonderful to work with and I think we've got a really strong sense of the Sandringham community and its connection to this fine school, one of the oldest in Victoria.
Google maps birds-eye-view photograph of Sandringham Primary School.
And we see typically in schoolwork, what happens over time is that buildings just get added to, and added to, and in this case the school had a rambling plan, covered by a big tile roof, on quite a tight site relative to the number of students. So, one of the things that we like to do, as architects, is imagine a bigger picture. So, we tend to think at a bigger scale before we start to work out how to design for the specifics of the rebuild and one of the observations that we made about the school is the really beautiful landscape setting that it has, both within the larger neighbourhood, but also the school grounds, how they're surrounded by an established landscape with big trees. The other thing is how the school is split quite nicely between all the buildings down to the south and all of the open space, essentially, to the north. We felt that the school was already, more or less, kind of built out. We didn't want to put more footprint on the site, because that was… would erode the open space area, so what that's led to for us is a two-story solution.
Titled “Design principles” shows six principles titled: maintain the campus fringed by landscape; create built form fingers; optimise open space; create a campus heart; create a network of linked courtyards; engage with the community.
The other things that we've looked at are what we call general design principles. For instance, one of the things is: instead of there being a large single footprint, if you break the buildings into smaller elements, we call it, like, a village of elements rather than one big building. Then, it creates a much more interesting relationship between the rooms of the building and outdoor open space. And so, we can make better courtyards, bigger courtyards, and better connections between spaces. So, the new design is based on this idea of interconnected courtyards, much more permeability in the way that you can navigate your way around the site, and the way that you can see between the different elements. We saw this as an opportunity to rethink or revision the idea of the school. So, I think we saw the opportunity here, rather than put back the big red tile roof, or the big floor plan, is to create something more contemporary, more connected to current pedagogy in the way in which the school sees its teaching program and this also means more… more variety, I guess more diversity of… of the architecture in a way that makes for a more interesting campus, we think.
A plan of the school titled “scope of works” shows the campus with various areas marked: 1, court surface to be remediated; 2, new building; 3, refurbished post fire damage; 4, new paving & landscape; 5, maintain landscape.
Our task, at the moment is strictly the rebuild, which is [to] replace the lost space, [which was lost] to the fire. So that includes repairing some of the damaged spaces around the perimeter, like the south playground, the basketball courts which are also damaged, they all get fixed and replaced, and the kind of relative paved areas that go with them. So essentially, really, from the portables through to where the fire damaged the admin area and… and north beyond the basketball courts, is the area that we're dealing with in this rebuild project. And that's the priority we have, to have, uh, finished, uh, by the end of, uh, next year which is... is tight we're working really hard to make sure that we meet that deadline. And that's the focus of our activity at the moment, is to precede the design to the extent that a builder can be appointed sometime soon, and we start the idea of the construction process later in the year. That concludes the overview of the general design approach that we're taking to the rebuild. And now I’d like to pass over to Jude Doyle who's a senior associate in the practice and the project architect running the project. And Jude'll explain a bit more about the internal planning, within the buildings, so, thank you.
[On screen text]
Jude Doyle, Associate at Peter Elliot Architecture, Urban and Design
Hi my name is Jude Doyle and I’m an associate at Peter Elliott Architects and the senior project architect for the Sandringham Primary School rebuild project. It's been a really unusual process to design a building through remote contact in COVID-19 conditions, that impact all our lives now. But the principal, Louise Neave, and assistant principal, Pam Bernau have been fantastic to deal with and have enabled us to explore the brief, recall memories, and realise contemporary pedagogy practices that they would like to implement.
Titled “Before and after the fire”, includes two coloured pencil drawings, the first showing an impression of Sandringham Primary School before the fire titled “‘Before the fire’”. The other shows Sandringham Primary immediately after the fire titled “‘After the Fire’ The opportunity”.
Our approach to re-planning the Sandringham primary school, was to understand the important features of the school before the fire. The loss of the library was devastating, books spanning years of collections, references and memorabilia, have all been lost. So, our importance of the library was our first realisation.
The central courtyard was also a very important space, providing an extension of the library for outdoor learning, activities and a reading area. We soon realised that the courtyard and the library had a symbiotic relationship, we felt that this was really important attribute to retain.
Titled “Ground Floor Plan”, shows the floor plan of Sandringham Primary School development. The new areas are highlighted in different colours and are titled in this order: light blue for the learning base, dark blue for resource intensive learning, green for learning resource centre, pink for administration, red for staff work, orange for student and staff amenities, yellow for circulation. There are also outlines, a yellow one for covered outdoor travel, and a green outline for outdoor learning.
In addition, the design team felt that the art-room, food, science and technology spaces could also share the courtyard connection. This way the central courtyard is shared by most of the communal spaces of the school, so everyone can benefit from the use of the central courtyard.
Architecturally we were really keen to retain as much of this heritage 19th century buildings as possible. We like to refer to these buildings as the foundation buildings of the school and these, unfortunately, are the most damaged parts remaining. The old staff common room walls and the perimeter walls of the adjacent building are the only surviving elements. Our design principle here is to retain what was left in the foundation buildings and provide new interventions, that weave throughout the historic structures, providing a tapestry of old and new, so to speak. In this section of the rebuild, the staff common room will remain in the same foundation building, and the library will be located within the heritage wall envelope and will look north onto the central courtyard. To the east of the new library, we saw an opportunity to create an outdoor learning space that is formed within part of the heritage walls, providing an extension to the library space. The learning bases or classrooms have been designed in learning neighbourhoods. These neighbourhoods are located in the new building that runs north-south of the site in a linear or finger-like formation and crossed over to the first level, above the art-room and technology spaces.
Learning neighbourhoods consist of shared learning spaces or classrooms, where spaces can be joined or separated, to cater for individual learning needs of students, and practical areas, that support investigations and exploration learning. There has been a design focus in connecting learning spaces with external spaces, providing opportunity for outdoor learning, maximising natural and light and ventilation.
The landscaping is an integral part of the architectural language, and the two go hand in hand with each other to bring life to a design. One of the key objectives of Sandringham Primary School is to provide a place that is welcoming for students, parents, staff, and the community. Through conversations with Sandringham Primary School and urban initiatives, the landscape architect, we established the following principles for the landscape design.
A 3D model shows the plan for the school from the perspective of the school entrance. It is titled “Building Concepts – 3D View, School entrance welcome mat”
First principle, address the southern Banfield street entry, or the welcome mat, with renewed planting that opens up the vista from the entry, through the site, to the northern oval area and [will] provide new formal and informal seating dotted around the garden beds and hardscaping. The second principle was the reinstatement of elements that survived the fire, the named bricks and the totems are both items that survived and will both be included in the welcome mat entry.
A 3D model shows the plan for the school from an aerial perspective. It is titled “Building Concepts – 3D View, Aerial view”
The deck to the southern playground will be reinstated, as too the basketball courts, and the four square, and other outdoor play line marking. The third principle provides opportunities for outdoor learning and interaction, with interconnecting courtyards and spaces between buildings, with a mix of soft and hard seating and open space.
I want to thank our Sandy Primary School community for their continued excitement and interest in our upcoming project. I hope this video has addressed some of your questions around the rebuild. If you still have further questions or require clarification on anything, we will be holding a few small group sessions in the coming weeks with myself, Peter Elliott Architects, and Bruno Imeneo from the Victorian School Building Authority. We will be sharing a link to Eventbrite, in the coming days, where you will be able to register to attend a session and submit your questions for our panel. In the sessions, we will respond to the pre-submitted questions and, if time permits, answer any further questions submitted, during the session, by the chat option.
Thank you again.
Victorian School Building Authority and Victoria State Government logos, www.schoolbuildings.vic.gov.au
Authorised by, The Victorian School Building Authority, 33 St Andrews Place, East Melbourne.
Reviewed 14 December 2021