Picnic Point High School (PPHS) is a government high school located in the suburb of Picnic Point, New South Wales. According to architecture firm Hames Sharley, the redevelopment project, which involves the refurbishment of some existing buildings and the construction of a new learning facility, responds to the expansion of the school’s catchment to provide the East Hill and Picnic Point communities more choices for co-education.
The project is currently in the master plan and concept stages. A master planning process comprised of a thorough site analysis, site testing, a staging strategy, and the establishment of key design principles determined a site to the south-east of the school grounds for the new building.
“The existing PPHS Buildings are all oriented north-south on their long axes, with east and west exposure resulting in unwanted heat load and glare. The decision was therefore made to orient the new (Technical and Applied Sciences) TAS building to north, with access walkways off the north façade, all in keeping with School Infrastructure’s Design for Modular Assembly (DfMA) Guidelines. The location chosen for the building ensures surveillance over the east part of the school grounds, until now ‘out-of-bounds’ to students, thus opening the grounds for use at recess for activity and recreation,” Hames Sharley shared.
Two high-value Angophora trees and a Scribbly Gum are situated just north of the building, providing a shaded setting for an outdoor learning space, and with generous tree canopy around the site, this helps provide a micro-climate for the building’s immediate context.
TAS Unit wood and metal workshop units are located on the ground floor, with an acoustically insulated Music Unit, and Visual Arts Unit accommodated on the first floor.
The steep fall of the site made it possible to include an under-croft to provide additional storage/workshop space and a kiln for the arts unit.
The development is positioned just north of the Georges River National Park, the George’s River is the traditional boundary between the Dharawal People to the south and the Dharug to the north.
Hames Sharley outlines that the proposed colour, material palette, and façade concept is informed through observations of the Georges River National Park context and arranged rhythmically according to the major scale in reference to the building’s hosting of the Music Unit.
“A Dharug piece of music is interpreted architecturally and adds relief and interest to the north walkway elevation’s vertical screening. The building, with its landscape inspired facade, is supported by its landscape setting, which also draws reference from the Georges River National Park and connections to Dharug country,” the company advised.
“The redevelopment of PPHS is essential to the future learning needs of its students and supports growth in the local economy.”
Hames Sharley has provided architecture services for the redevelopment project for School Infrastructure New South Wales.
Key features of the redevelopment include:
- four new general learning spaces
- new TAS workshops and new TAS learning spaces
- new Visual Arts workshop and new Visual Arts learning spaces
- new Music learning spaces
- new computer learning space
- upgraded and expanded Administration and Staff facilities
- landscaping and external improvements.
- Project Lead – Dustin Brade
- Design Lead – Iain Stewart
- Design – Oliver Wellings
- Design – James Vongphrachanh
- AECOM: Structural, Civil, Mechanical, Electrical, ICT & Hydraulic Engineering
- Arcadia: Landscape Architects
- Philip Chun, Building Compliance: BCA Consultant
- HKA: Project Managers