Pascoe Valley Primary School
Architecture

Pascoe Valley Primary School

Pascoe Vale Primary School has been recently redesigned to incorporate a new addition for growing community members and innovative teaching developments. Located 10km north of Melbourne’s CBD, the school was originally designed by Edwin Evan Smith, the Chief Architect of the Department of Public works, in 1929. Kosloff Architecture were employed to update the building by making subtle internal modifications to the existing building, as well as design a new, cohesive extension.
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Architect
Kosloff Architecture (Julian Kosloff and Stephanie Bullock)
Photography
Derek Swalwell
POSTED
24.12.2021

Julian Kosloff and Stephanie Bullock, Co-Founders of Kosloff Architecture and leaders of this project, responded to the brief by proposing a generous annexe with a gently curved exterior. The addition was mostly realised in traditional red brick, specifically the Chapel Red brick from Nubrik's Traditional range, to align with the original structure. Perforated brick panels delineate the exterior, ensuring the existing street-facing windows along the old school structure were not interrupted. Maintaining cohesion between the contemporary elements of the new extension to the simplicity of the existing building, a distinguishable Bowral Bricks’ Chillingham White entrance has been assembled, adorned with the letters ‘PVPS’ to represent the school’s name.

As an established landmark within the streets of Pascoe Vale, the school has naturally fostered connections with family and community. Offering state education for almost a  century, it was integral that this rich history was integrated into the new extension. ‘The school community was very keen for the new extension to not detract from the existing heritage building, and for it to provide a high-quality addition to the existing street frontage,’ the architects say. As a result, considerable analysis of the original heritage building was undertaken and informed the formal expression of the new addition. ‘(The development) acknowledges the importance in fostering relationships between parents of the school as well as the broader community,’ the architects add.

Understanding the principles of Burra Charter (the basic procedures necessary in the conservation of an Australian heritage place), community feedback aided development of the extension, including the new entryway. ‘(It’s) now a gathering space for the school community before and after school,’ the architects suggest. The extension purposefully optimises northern light and reduces energy loss through deliberate and methodical siting and planning. Glazing is limited to the western façade; amenities and support areas are located to the south; and new window openings are focused throughout the north. Further design initiatives involve increased levels of insulation to external walls and roofs, applying high-performance double glazing and incorporating shading within the northern façade. 

‘Our extension, which houses staff and administration, continues the existing building’s masonry language and fine brick articulation,’ the Kosloff team says. Student work can now be exhibited throughout the school and there is a newfound ease of access to staff areas and other sections of school grounds. Facilitating collaboration and connection, the staff quarters ensure a supportive space for professional development, while student learning spaces within the existing building ensures students have the best possible opportunity for a bright future. 

“Our extension, which houses staff and administration, continues the existing building’s masonry language and fine brick articulation.”

Pascoe Valley Primary School

“Our extension, which houses staff and administration, continues the existing building’s masonry language and fine brick articulation.”

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