The Gateway Project was the rebuilding of the Hamilton precinct of the College, where Years 3–6 learn and play and engage in activities. In 2015 Presbyterian Ladies’ College (PLC) demolished the old Hamilton buildings as they were tired and in serious need of repair. They have served the College well for over 60 years. In their place we are building:
Now, a first look into PLC Sydney’s Hamilton Building. Sunday the 11th of February saw the opening of the new Junior School at Presbyterian Ladies’ College, Sydney. The opening was attended by staff, students and featured honoured guest, NSW Premier the Honourable Gladys Berejiklian. The NBRS Education Studio has created an innovative new building to provide the Junior School with a cohesive, modern and responsive new environment for some of PLC’s youngest students. Providing years 3, 4, 5 and 6 with an immersive new campus to set a foundation of exploration, engagement and inquisitiveness to stay with the students for their whole schooling career. The design sought to replace an amalgamation of older buildings that had been built over a long period of time.
In line with contemporary pedagogy NBRS understands the importance of employing a wide variety of teaching and learning experiences through designing dynamic indoor and outdoor spaces. The campus was created with an emphasis on outdoor learning with the garden space footprint having doubled. The NBRS Landscape studio played a vital role in creating an innovative outdoor education including an insectarium and invertebrate pond as well as activation spaces such as vegetable gardens and recycling systems to encourage interest and understanding of sustainability principles.
In order to maximise the northern outdoor learning and play area, the Hamilton Building has been pushed to the perimeter of the site embracing the outdoor area as the heart. Careful planning of the 3 floor levels is a distinct priority to allow a natural narrative through the floors of gently sloping ramps. This has resulted in a building of appropriate scale for small children, has maximised internal efficiency and resulted in high quality learning spaces. The understated natural Scandinavian inspired interior design allows the children to express themselves. A ‘blank canvas’ gives the teachers and children the most opportunity to individualise their own learning experience.
The new gatehouse has also given the school a new Meta Street entrance addressing and integrating with the community village of Croydon. The gatehouse accommodates the school administration and reception, enhancing the streetscape and creating a fresh yet familiar identity for PLC.
Photos and article courtesy of NBRS Architects