Westmead Catholic Education Precinct
• Masterplanning for the redevelopment of two existing high schools, Catherine McAuley and Parramatta Marist – each 1000 students – to also incorporate construction of a new primary school – 400 students – at the site.
• Stage 1 construction – A new building incorporating facilities for Catherine McAuley High & Mother Teresa Primary
Darcy Road Westmead, NSW 2145 Australia
This large site in Westmead houses over 2,000 high school students in two separate schools; Parramatta Marist High and Catherine McAuley Westmead. The existing buildings were ageing and no longer meeting the needs of a contemporary education program. Our client the Catholic Education Office also needed to introduce a new primary school on the site to meet the demands of the area’s increasing population. ThomsonAdsett developed a staged masterplan response involving the construction of five new buildings and adaptive reuse of six existing buildings to create a connected, cohesive education facility.
Masterplanning was able to resolve the following complex site and briefing circumstances:
• Interschool relationships while maintaining three individual identities
• How contemporary approaches to education could be achieved whilst satisfying specific and different teaching and learning philosophies of each school
• Reorientation of the school entrances
• Traffic planning implications of 2400 students with single site vehicular access point
Stage one of the development – the subject of this application – houses the new Mother Teresa Primary School on level one, and learning facilities for Catherine McAuley High on upper levels two and three.
The design has a strong focus on contemporary pedagogical philosophies. The two schools had teaching and learning approaches all different from each other.
Catherine McAuley High:
Design considerations revolved around group learning spaces to accommodate a variety of group sizes. The planning enables the possibility of both individual and connected teaching spaces.
Mother Teresa Primary:
The Learning Spaces at Mother Teresa have been planned to reflect a collaborative approach involving two stream class groups and stage-based learning.
The site parameters dictated that the building would be 140m long and 24m wide, with the long facades oriented east and west. The building form therefore is essentially an “Environmental Filter” with aesthetics determined by the architectural ‘vocabulary’ of the sun-control devices adopted to ensure that optimum, passive energy control was maintained.
Passive techniques for sustainability are supplemented with active initiatives including:
• Underground water tanks to flush all toilets
• Sensors to switch lights on and off
• Use of energy efficient lighting