Ultimo Public School

Ultimo Public School presents a new educational model for an inner-Sydney primary school. The design dissolves the classroom/playground divide with flexible learning spaces that expand into playgrounds, verandahs and walkways.

In this urban setting, landscape is key, with gardens and water features to enhance sensory experiences and promote activity. Building mass and terracing use the steep site to control noise and access from a busy street abutment. Terraces carved into the site from its days as a quarry create three distinct playground levels for: kindergarten, years 1 and 2, and years 3 to 6, with visual surveillance between the three.

Winning an international design competition in December 2016, the scheme expands student capacity from 285 to 800, and adds community childcare and library facilities. 

  • CLIENT

    NSW Department of Education

  • LOCATION

    Ultimo, NSW

  • SCALE

    12,300 m² + 6,000 m² external learning areas

  • VALUE

    $30 million

  • PROJECT LEADERSHIP
    Miriam Enoch Matthew Todd Richard Does
  • COLLABORATORS

    DesignInc in association with Lacoste + Stevenson and BMC2 (France)

  • PHOTOGRAPHY

    Images by Doug & Wolf

Ultimo-Public-School---Visualisation-1

Environmentally sustainable features include reused photovoltaic cells and a displacement ventilation system, where outside air is supplied below the library floor level and is relieved at high level for chimney-effect ventilation through the three-storey library and general learning spaces.

Nurture with nature 

  • Sensory landscaping: rainforest, harvest and market garden
  • Assembly hall for 800 students overlooks Wentworth Park
  • Learning areas with natural light and cross-ventilation
  • Community access to select spaces and facilities
  • Three-storey library sited to buffer neighbourhood noise
Ultimo-Pyrmont-Public-School-2

A fresh, creative and playful architectural expression. This scheme raises amenity standards for early learning centres in Australia.

Design excellence competition jury
Ultimo-Pyrmont-Public-School-3

Christon Batey-Smith

DirectorMelbourne

Christon Batey-Smith

DirectorMelbourne
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Rohan Wilson

DirectorMelbourne

Rohan Wilson

DirectorMelbourne
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Richard Stafford

Managing DirectorAdelaide

Richard Stafford

Managing DirectorAdelaide
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Adrian Doohan

Senior AssociateMelbourne

Adrian Doohan

Senior AssociateMelbourne
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Doug McCusker

Senior AssociateAdelaide

Doug McCusker

Senior AssociateAdelaide
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Cameron Smith

Senior AssociateMelbourne

Cameron Smith

Senior AssociateMelbourne
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Jane Sayers

PrincipalMelbourne

Jane Sayers

PrincipalMelbourne
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Maria Mueller

AssociatePerth

Maria Mueller

AssociatePerth
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Amy Merritt

AssociateAdelaide

Amy Merritt

AssociateAdelaide
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Michelle Harris

Senior AssociateMelbourne

Michelle Harris

Senior AssociateMelbourne
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Matthew Todd

PrincipalSydney

Matthew Todd

PrincipalSydney
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Steven Holmes

PrincipalSydney

Steven Holmes

PrincipalSydney
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Sonya Montgomerie

Senior AssociateAdelaide

Sonya Montgomerie

Senior AssociateAdelaide
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Freya Martin

AssociateAdelaide

Freya Martin

AssociateAdelaide
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Shalini Shah

AssociateAdelaide

Shalini Shah

AssociateAdelaide
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Ee Ther Wee

AssociateAdelaide

Ee Ther Wee

AssociateAdelaide
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Gavin Dixon

AssociateAdelaide

Gavin Dixon

AssociateAdelaide
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Michael Willis

AssociateAdelaide

Michael Willis

AssociateAdelaide
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