Picnic Point High School located in Sydney’s south-west is set for redevelopment, with Hames Sharley currently devising a plan as to what the school’s future looks like.

The project includes the refurbishment of some of the school’s existing buildings, as well as the construction of four new general learning spaces, that will account for the expansion of the school’s catchment, as well as providing residents of the region with more choices for optimal co-educational learning.

The redevelopment of PPHS is essential to the future learning needs of its students and supports growth in the local economy.

Hames Sharley’s master planning process comprises of a thorough site analysis, site testing, a staging strategy, and the establishment of key design principles determined a site to the south east of the school grounds for the new building.

The existing PPHS Buildings are all oriented north-south on their long axes, with east and west exposure resulting in unwanted heat load and glare. Hames Sharley have ultimately decided to orient the new Technical & Applied Sciences (TAS) buildings to the north, with access walkways off the north façade, all in keeping with School Infrastructure’s Design for Modular Assembly (DfMA) Guidelines. 

The location chosen for the building ensures surveillance over the east part of the school grounds, until now ‘out-of-bounds’ to students, thus opening the grounds for use at recess for activity and recreation.

The brief given to the practice also includes the upgrade and expansion of administration and staff facilities, a new TAS unit to replace the existing facility, and the relocation of the Visual Arts and Music Units to meet additional capacity for 2031. New Music learning spaces, a computer learning space, as well as landscaping and external improvements are all included within Hames Sharley’s master plan.

TAS Unit wood and metal workshop units are located on the ground floor, with an acoustically insulated Music Unit, and Visual Arts Unit accommodated on the first floor. The steep fall of the site made possible an under-croft providing additional storage/workshop space and a kiln for the arts unit.

The development is located just north of the Georges River National Park, the Georges River is the traditional boundary between the Dharawal People to the south and the Dharug to the north. The proposed colour, material palette, and façade concept is informed through observations of the Georges River National Park context and arranged rhythmically according to the major scale in reference to the building’s hosting of the Music Unit.