Sturt St Primary School, 2023

This is our third collaboration with Sturt Street Primary School (after IT room and library). We designed the staff breakout room, main reception, foyer, secretary and Principal’s offices, and connecting foyer.

The foyer was an opportunity to set the tone for the school from its beautiful green Victorian front door. Our theme is a mix of contemporary art gallery and Victorian colours, affectionately known as ‘curated Hogwarts’. The starting point for the design was the historical honour board which dominates the foyer. Rich velvets, gold detailing and timber laminates throughout our custom furniture complement this. Historical photos and objects from the school’s past used to be crammed into a display cabinet in the foyer. Via the use of new art rails and custom display boxes we were able to liberate these objects, including a bass drum to be displayed and celebrated in the main corridor.

The secretary’s office is zoned to interact with family and students, work in, and other zones have teacher accessible joinery that includes staff pigeonholes, classroom communications and school essentials. Everything required in this office has a dedicated home, including the defibrillator. Items that did not need to be in this tight space were relocated – for example a custom lunch order storage unit was created in the adjacent corridor to reduce congestion.

The Principal’s office is a reflection of his values and the school’s ‘students-first’ approach. The new custom sit-stand desk ends with a conversation table where families can gather. At his request, a quarter of this office is dedicated to students and their wellbeing. This is achieved via felt and Lego walls, comfortable floor cushions and a sculptural acoustic installation, giving students sent to the Principal’s office a space to calm themselves down and refocus.

The staff room called for a grown-up, sanctuary-like space. Suspended acoustic panels create a quietness – hard to find in a primary school! Surfaces are designed to be extremely durable for a long life. The pallet deliberately stands separately from the primary colours found elsewhere and includes lilac resin bench tops contrasting with burnt orange tiles and sophisticated timber laminates to create a rejuvenating energy.