Coombs Primary School Alternative Design, Coombs, ACT

role master planning, architecture value not disclosed site area 4,000m² completed date current client richard crookes constructions

peckvonhartel was engaged by Richard Crookes Constructions (RCC) to provide master planning and an alternative design for a new primary school P-6, located in the new Canberra suburb of Coombs. The previous design for the school had been rejected by Treasury and a new tender commissioned by the ACT Government. peckvonhartel was approached to provide an alternate design solution for the Coombs Primary School, with an emphasis on cost saving, innovative use of building materials and enhancement of the connection between classroom buildings. Master planning looked at the overall layout of the buildings and also the opportunity to free up land to return to the government.

The approach was to retain the functional relationships between the learning spaces and their support areas, and to offer a variety of adaptable indoor and outdoor spaces for group work and collaborative learning. Key challenges involved respecting the design completed to date and maintaining set access points, while reducing the footprint of the school and providing a more cost effective design solution.

The alternate design embraced an approach that optimizes flexible use of the spaces and straight forward adaptability. The regularity of the design allows for adaptation and modification far more readily than more bespoke angled buildings. The combination of the use of bright colours and appropriate scale building elements create a vibrant, positive environment, at a competitive price.