The Adaptable Primary School

SWA proposed a series of adaptable school buildings based on a system of solid (cross-laminated) timber units using the technology to balance standardization (repetitive elements) with customization (specific features) in conjunction with program and site.   The proposal focused on presenting a structural system of flat panels (walls, floors, ceilings) that assemble on site to make volumetric units (kit of parts) and an exposed and surface-mounted service distribution system (suspended grid).  It also included the proposal of a ‘smart wall’, a pre-plumbed, pre-wired unit that connects to the grid above and contains a white board, sink and storage as a standard classroom component.  The skin of the building can be fitted out and changed easily with a variety of materials (e.g. brick slips, timber clapboard, flat fibre-cement sheet, corrugated fibre cement sheet).  The submission board was cleverly organised as a design process flowing from macro to micro as a decision-making process to aid a client to understand the applicability of the system to their needs.


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