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meaningful primary school playgrounds

The school playground or campus is transforming beyond the boundaries of traditional ‘play’ to become a place that builds local narratives, values, and a sense of belonging. Increasingly it is also becoming an extension of the classroom, a place for students to develop socially and cognitively and a place of neighbourhood activation outside school hours.We understand these places in liveability terms; creating shade and shelter in which to congregate and share stories and ideas.

Creating meaningful places, through both the design process and built outcome has been the objective for two exciting community projects at Mount Hawthorn and Highgate Primary Schools, both in Perth’s inner city suburbs.

The two projects are examples of ‘bottom up’ making of place where students have driven the central ideas and design brief. Further to this, students have and will deliver artwork for inclusion in the built outcomes through coordination with respective art teachers.

Both projects have served to rally teachers, P&C and students alike towards a common goal, sense of achievement and community expression.

Stage one of the Mt. Hawthorn Primary School ‘Friendship Garden’ is complete and stage two is about to commence. Highgate Primary School ‘Senior Terrace’ is about to go out to tender.

We are inspired that in our recent discussions with the Victorian Deputy Premier, James Merlino MP (Victorian Minster for Education) our view was confirmed – that places of learning are beyond the walls of architecture and that through clear and intentional involvement we can achieve a better and highly integrated outcome, where the spatial dialogue of play goes way beyond the ‘playground’ and where the divisions of discipline are removed.

Senior Terrace –

The Friendship Garden stage one –


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