Margaret Bailey Building, Ascham School


The design of the new Margaret Bailey Building was the result of a new model of classrooms to meet the strong teaching and learning pedagogy of Ascham’s Dalton Plan. This was achieved by providing contemporary, indoor and outdoor learning environments for flexible and informal ways of interacting between students and teachers.

The first stage provided a “pilot space” to experiment with a design model which moved away from the initial brief of the more traditional concept of a teacher’s homeroom/classroom, more familiar and conducive for traditional teaching models. The pilot created breakout spaces for pupils and teachers to spill out onto from every classroom, providing more collaborative and informal learning settings.

The new building improves connectivity between adjoining buildings to achieve DDA Compliance and creates a more legible, sheltered and safe pedestrian network through the campus.
It does not contain internal corridors between classrooms, instead utilising the informal learning areas which face onto the courtyard as circulation space. This provides a much more dynamic and collaborative learning space which will further promote informal interaction between students and teachers.
The built form responds to the domestic scale and village-like atmosphere of the existing school fabric, while retaining the prominence and significance of the heritage Glenrock Building directly opposite.

The building’s façade consists of a screen element that extends and wraps around the new balcony of the library building creating a uniform backdrop to the Glenrock Building. The fabric screens and sculptural concrete stair, highlight the entry to the library and the new building respectively. The internal learning spaces have passive cross ventilation and shallow floorplates and attenuated mechanical systems allow air to flow through spaces without compromising acoustics between learning spaces.


Furniture: P4 Design, Pedrali, Ross Didier. Lighting: Kilk, Beacon Lighting. Finishes: Laminex, Kvadrat, Abet Laminati, Maharam. Fittings & Fixtures: Zip, GWA Group, Caroma.


Photography: Katherine Lu, Felix Forest.