St Patrick's Primary School, Gympie
Spanning four years and five stages, the redevelopment of St Patrick’s Primary school in Gympie has opened a world of new possibilities for staff and students.
Fulton Trotter Architects (FTA) were faced with several design challenges: a small site, the need to adapt a Heritage listed building into classroom space and student amenities, and a desire to be sympathetic to Gympie’s only Catholic church – located adjacent to the primary school.
After an intensive consultation process with the school Parish, FTA has created a design outcome that is playful and optimistically forward-looking, while respectfully echoing elements of St Patrick’s 100-year plus history.
Site constraints are celebrated with the introduction of interconnected classrooms that have inspired new teaching methods. The school hall includes a vertical folding door that opens up the building’s entire face, making it an extension of the playground and lawn area and giving students an alternative play space.
But perhaps what stands out most is how FTA has approached even the most pedestrian of schoolyard utilities with thought and whimsy. New toilet blocks feature artworks of cart wheeling children and nursery rhymes. A rainbow of colour wraps the entire length of a corridor lined with pin boards. Cantilevered boxes within the school library frame views of the surrounding countryside, while smaller niche windows – that punctuate the shelving – are also charmingly child-sized seats.
Great care was taken through the use of colour and symbolism to visually connect the new designs with the Church and the Heritage listed building.
Ultimately, the redevelopment has provided the Parish with a variety of flexible and fun spaces that inspire beauty and wonder – which captures the essence of what childhood is all about.
For more information, please visit the St Patrick’s Primary School website.
- Mark Trotter
- Ryan Loveday
- John Ward
- Hayley Crofts
- Angela Barbeler
- Galen Gillham
- Tanya Walsh
- Andrew Campbell
- Harleigh Venables