Port Sorell Primary School Construction
Pitcairn Street Port Sorell, Tasmania 7307 Australia
Department of Education Tasmania and ARTAS Architects
$13,000,000 (ex GST)
The Port Sorell Primary School provides one of Tasmania’s highest population growth areas with a world class educational facility, serving a catchment area of 5km. The School resides on a 4.8 hectare site overlooking the nearby Rubicon River. The design is a product of rigorous community consultation which was a key theme in the planning process.
The Port Sorell Primary School was constructed to meet the enrolment demands of one of Tasmania’s fastest growing areas. A key aim of the project was to construct not only a world class educational facility, but also a community ‘hub’; the School’s design is thus reflective of a planning process involving a high level of community consultation and input.
The result is a modern and sophisticated facility that remains consistent with and respectful of the natural setting and cultural tradition of the area. This is reflected in the materials used for the building, which are based on the colours and textures of the natural environment. This includes the use of locally made bricks; exposed timber beams; textured timber board cladding; and, pre-cast concrete panels in selected texture.
The landscape includes low grassy and planted mounds, reflective of low dunes; this complements the site location, which is adjacent to the coastline and abutting a bushland reserve.
Enhancing the sense of community and inclusiveness, access to the site is multifaceted with one way entry and exit points that include staff and visitor car parks, bus drop-off and student drop off points. All car parks deliver visitors to a forecourt which guides visitors into the entry of the student centre. Other student access points occur around the site to ease movement in and out of the site.
Adjacent to the entry is a natural amphitheatre which acts as a gathering space; this promotes a sense of community ownership by facilitating shared access and events.
The interior of the school lends itself to flexible and modern teaching and learning practices. It consists of three learning ‘pods’ containing self-sufficient classrooms that have the capacity to ‘open up’ into common break-out areas. Each classroom is customisable, with moveable walls; glass doors and open, multi-functional spaces. The ability of each classroom to support different sized groups and spatial configurations has assisted teachers by removing the barriers typically imposed by design.
Finally, the overall design harnesses the natural environment and makes full use of passive energy sources such as natural lighting, ventilation and heating. The School was designed as a 5 star Green Star building, and is currently being assessed as an ‘as built’ 5 star building by the Green Building Council of Australia.