Aldinga Beach R-7 School

Junior Primary Redevelopment

A 1970’s octagonal building, the 12 classrooms were combined as pairs with one half having direct access to natural light, the other, located inboard borrowing from the first. The original internal courtyard was roofed soon after completion, further reducing the available natural light getting to the interior of the building. Access between the spaces was through tunnel-like corridors. Classrooms had no acoustic separation and no cross-ventilation.

A Saturday afternoon was spent working through radical new concept with the parents, teachers and students. There was a lot of positive feedback and constructive critique. The design involved removing most of the internal walls and arraying the 12 classrooms around the perimeter of the building giving each direct access to outside and to natural light. This left a large area in the centre for a kitchen and breakout specialist workshop areas. These are a series of flexible, interlinked spaces. There are areas for whole classes and a number of nooks where small numbers of students can locate to work together or individually. Classrooms are separated from each other and from the Workshop areas by glazed walls and either hinged or sliding doors. Classrooms can then operate separately or combine with adjacent rooms. Small groups of students can breakout from classrooms.

At the heart of the new centre is the Kitchen. The kitchen has become part of the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden program and provides a full range of domestic cooking and dining opportunities combined with the vegetable garden outside. The smells from the constantly busy kitchen are breath-taking.

This was a challenging and radical change to what existed. Congratulations and thanks to the school community, in particular Lyn Langeluddecke, David Dewar, staff and students for your belief and support. It has become a dynamic focal point for the whole school; a working demonstration of the importance of the link between pedagogy and the design of the learning spaces.

This development was recognized by the Department for Education and Child Development when entered for national awards with CEFPI Australasia.

Project Architect: Kyra Wood

Photography: Hiro Ishino

Aldinga Beach, SA
Department for Education

and Child Development
Department for Planning,
Transport and Infrastructure
Kilpatrick Architecture
Lucid Consulting Engineers
PT Design Pty Ltd
Rider Levett Bucknall
J&M Garas Pty Ltd