St Stephens Primary School in Duncraig

St Stephens Primary School in Duncraig, Western Australian Public Building Extension, Architecture Images

St Stephens Primary School in Duncraig

Library and Community Hub in Western Australia – design by Cox Architecture

3 Oct 2017

St Stephens Primary School

Location: Duncraig, Perth, Western Australia

Design: Cox Architecture

St Stephens Primary School

St Stephens Primary School

The new library and community hub is visible, vibrant, adaptable and able to be directed by the needs of the student and school. The mobile “market carts” allow books to be displayed or even moved to classrooms, further emphasizing the boundless influence of the library upon the school life. At the same time, the school community has a place where it can comfortably meet together amidst the joyful motif of village life.

St Stephens Primary School

Conceptual Framework
Following intense masterplanning, CODA proposed converting an existing 1980’s dark, face-brick atrium into a flexible and open library learning space, combined with a community hub for students and parents.
This is a shift towards student-led flexibility in teaching, with the library sitting at the heart of school life.
‘a library without walls’.
The design is pitched at the scale of a child yet inviting to the entire school community.

St Stephens Primary School

Public and Cultural Benefits
We built a story around village life through the creation of four areas: village green, town square, street and market.
This is further implied through built-in and loose furniture; purpose-built ‘market carts’ function as mobile library displays, a town amphitheater complete with a slide, and green “charging” trees punctuate the space.
A “street edge” of arched openings creates small areas for quiet learning. The school librarian is seated along this edge, implying a less formal approach to control over the space.

St Stephens Primary School

Relationship of Built Form to Context
The first challenge was the unremarkable 1980’s atrium! Budget dictated a transformation without structural change or an increased floor area.
The atrium is the primary circulation path to the surrounding classrooms. This created challenges in terms of noise levels for the new integrated library, teaching and learning space.
Quieter spaces for smaller groups and individuals are located along ‘street edges’.
The busier spaces for group activity are located centrally.

St Stephens Primary School

Programme Resolution
By developing the idea of a village, CODA created a design framework in which flexibility was inherent at a range of scales. Students are encouraged to take ownership of their environment through flexible, self-determining furniture arrangements.
There are no obvious transitional points between the learning areas, community hub and library. Bookshelves appear throughout the entire space and custom “market carts” allow book selections to find their way to classrooms. This concept created the library without walls.

St Stephens Primary School

Integration of Allied Disciplines
We worked closely with the builder and cabinetmaker to ensure minimal time on site. This allowed the project to be completed in a 6-week period over summer.

St Stephens Primary School

Cost/Value Outcome
The tender came in under budget, allowing us to engage the services of an acoustic engineer as well as installing additional lighting.
The project created 900m2 of useable teaching area without increasing the building footprint.

St Stephens Primary School

Sustainability
The structure of the building was unaffected by the library’s relocation, limiting the financial and environmental impact and enabling the formation of a flexible year five and six classroom hub!
Environmentally responsible materials were chosen including timber framing, recyclable acoustic pinboard, plywood and carpet tiles.
In terms of sustainability, the most significant aspect of this project was that it was delivered without affecting the structure of the existing building. An uninspiring atrium, that under different stewardship could have easily been demolished, was instead transformed into a progressive, new learning and community hub.
Environmentally responsible materials were chosen including timber framing, recyclable acoustic pinboard, plywood and carpet tiles.

Response to Client and User Needs
Key to the school’s culture was a desire for a space in which everyone feels welcome, including parents. The entire junior school community can be comfortably accommodated as a collective whole or in smaller groups spread throughout the space.
The library now sits at the heart of all this activity. Here books have an important presence within the school’s key space and are accessed in a dynamic and informal way.

St Stephens Primary School

St Stephens Primary School in Duncraig – Building Information

Project size: 940 sqm
Completion date: 2016
Design: Cox Architecture

St Stephens Primary School

Photography: Peter Bennetts

St Stephens Primary School in Duncraig images / information received 031017


To see all listed projects on a single map please follow this link.




Australian Architecture

Australian Architecture Design – chronological list

Australian Architecture

Perth Buildings

Australian Houses
Cloud House Australia
photo : John Gollings

Australian Architect Studios




Australian Homes

Melbourne Buildings

Highgate Hill Residence

Kangaroo Valley House

Klein Bottle House

Website: St Stephens Primary School, Perth

Perth Airport Building

Comments / photos for the St Stephens Primary School in Duncraig – page welcome

St Stephens Primary School in Duncraig Building

Website: Cox Architecture