Newcomb Primary School | Workshop Architecture

Newcomb Primary School | Workshop Architecture | Photographer: John Gollings

2023 National Architecture Awards Program

Newcomb Primary School | Workshop Architecture

Traditional Land Owners


Educational Architecture
Regional Prize (VIC)
Lyons Construction
John Gollings
Project summary

In reflecting on the history of the school, the project grew from the idea of celebrating the industrial past of the area. It is imaginarily built from a variety of decommissioned components from the defunct Point Henry smelter, reassembled in such a way as to deliver essential teaching, learning, admin and amenity needs in a flexible and evocative way. Truss components frame the covered entry area; giant duct like coffers magnify the presence and reflected light of skylights; hopper like elements form window cowls to the street elevation and tank like elements form circular planter box seating along the asphalt basketball court. In this way the project establishes a new and adaptable architectural language and whilst the references are industrial, the components are configured in such a way to create suitably intimate and intriguing internal spaces, with ceiling heights as low as 2.1 meters and as high as 5.0 meters.

Victorian Jury Presentation

Demolishing an existing school and starting almost from scratch – a process guided by no less than four school principals along the way – was no doubt a challenge for all involved, with two generations of history, memories and equipment being compressed into a new building and school of significantly reduced size. With a welcoming new entry, linking walkway canopy and delightful sensory garden, we now have a compact, functional and engaging admin, classroom and amenities building with inspiring teaching and learning spaces. This has given us a brand-new beginning and a bright future.

Project Practice Team

Gabor Olah, Project Architect
James Staughton, Design Architect
Simone Koch, Project Architect
William Heath, Project Architect

Project Consultant and Construction Team

Akritidis Group Building Consultants, Building Surveyor
Alexander Chul, Quantity Surveyor
Architecture & Access, Access Consultant
Cogent Acoustics, Acoustic Consultant
Meyer Consulting, Structural Engineer
Michael Smith & Associates, Landscape Consultant
SPA Consulting Engineers, Services Consultant

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Newcomb Primary School | Workshop Architecture | Photographer: John Gollings

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