SHAC Architects took home the honours in the Educational category at the annual Newcastle Architecture Awards held recently to recognise some of the best new architecture in the city. SHAC won the Newcastle Architecture Award for Educational Architecture for their design of St Patrick’s Primary School, Lochinvar.

To house Kindergarten and Year One classes, St Patrick’s development features a flexible layout with playful elements to capture the interest of the young students, and maximise engagement to promote creative thinking.

The open environment aims to encourage collaborative learning, expression and curiosity. Individual learning spaces, a communal learning area and an outdoor learning space are some of the other features.

A hub has been provided for teachers to plan and collaborate, with the students also allowed to use the space to work together in groups.

Stepping away from the traditional classroom layout, the ‘pod’ design will allow students access to a world of opportunity and innovation.

The pod design will be replicated in the next stage of development to provide learning spaces for Years 2, 3 and 4.

The school worked closely with SHAC to provide inputs from an educational perspective throughout the design, planning and development phases.

Architectural photography by Alexander McIntyre