The NSW Department of Education has announced that a design consortium comprising of DesignInc, Sydney-based practice Lacoste+Stevenson and Paris-based practice, BMC2 will design the Ultimo-Pyrmont Public School redevelopment project.

The appointment of this design consortium followed a three-stage procurement process, which saw proposals from 21 consortia worldwide being received in response to an open Expression of Interest for the project. Seven of these design proposals were selected to proceed to the Request for Tender stage with five shortlisted for the final stage – the Design Excellence Competition.

The winning concept design by the consortium comprising of Designinc with Lacoste+Stevenson and BMC2, was selected by a five-member panel of design, construction and educational experts assembled by the Department of Education.

According to the panel, the winning concept was “…well-scaled, flexible, imaginative and appropriate to the stages of education and ages of children, with playful and creative architectural expression. The environmental design and performance was well-considered, the building is straightforward to build and maintain while still delivering a fresh and vibrant quality contributing to the advancement of the standard of amenity of early teaching and learning facilities in Australia”.

The winning design concept for the school’s redevelopment has student-centred learning at its core, with focus on the diverse needs of students and faculty, and the delivery of a range of teaching methods and pedagogical practices.

Designinc Sydney Managing Director Sandeep Amin says it’s an honour to be granted the opportunity to help shape the environment in which young minds can flourish and develop. He describes their vision for the new school as one that seamlessly blends imagination, learning and nature to enrich the students’ early learning journey. The design concept also champions open community access to select spaces and facilities within the new school.

Amin adds that the design aims to strengthen the bond of students and the community with nature, simultaneously breaking down the divide between classroom and playground with informal learning spaces.

Image: View of the library and informal learning spaces