Niddrie Autistic School

Guymer Bailey Architects

Guymer Bailey was engaged to design Niddrie Autistic School’s campus masterplan and delivery of its first stage development. The project upgrades included demolishing the school’s demountable learning facilities and classroom block (that had fallen below acceptable standards for teaching students with autism) to construct a new specialist teaching building, outdoor learning and play spaces for children with ASD, and site amenities.

Teaching spaces are arranged to develop natural problem-solving skills and independent thought. These skills form coping mechanisms; when combined with external stimuli, grow confidence learning in new settings. Curriculums are taught in small, safe classes that allow teaching teams to build close, supportive relationships.

The design’s overarching diversity builds organic, autonomous thinking that allows students to respond and adapt to different environments. Individual teaching spaces address primary student and curriculum needs, guided by staff and specialists, and accessible to visiting families.

Considered integration between indoor and outdoor learning saw opportunities to reclaim landscape within the site’s heart and utilise natural elements to develop student’s physical, cognitive and social skills. Activity spaces and playground designs are formed around the school’s eldest trees, unifying historic and new site aspects.

Niddrie’s ESD strategy contained specific objectives focusing on improving the health of the school’s natural habitat and identifying new sustainability opportunities. Double-glazed doors and windows across external walls minimise energy intake and improve acoustic quality, while rainwater tanks generate supply for all toilets, recycled plant watering and provide an outdoor learning resource for water-based activities.


Lighting: Q-Industries. Finishes: Colorbond, Rockcote, Just Mats, Urban Salvage, Dulux, CSR, Armstrong, Shaw Tiles, Gerflor, Polyflor, Tarkett, Markham, Criterion, Wattyl, Polytec, Laminex, Gunnersens, Wortley, CCS, OPAL. Fittings & Fixtures: Clark, Enware, Alpine 125 Chill Tap, Billi, Caroma, RAM, Britex, Metlam, ASI JD Macdonald, Hafele, Brilliant, Play Rope, Playworks, Adventureplus, Kompan, The Play Works, Steel & Garden Furniture Qld, AWS Systems, Capral, Aqualoo, LOTUS, Knauf.


Photography: Ian Ten Seldam Photography, Mitchell Lyons Photography