A design that supports a new pedagogical approach. A mix of refurbishment and new building to support sustainable growth.

ThomsonAdsett worked with St Mark’s Catholic Primary School to create a design that supported sustainable growth and the delivery of Sydney Catholic Schools’ new pedagogical approach.

Transparency and connectivity between classrooms, breakout spaces, and flexible learning spaces were key elements to support this approach to teaching and learning.

A protected internal courtyard has been created to enable safe and secure play and outdoor learning activities. Ageing temporary classrooms were replaced with new state-of-the-art, light-filled rooms that incorporate the technology selected to align with the pedagogy practices. The new construction also successfully connects two separate buildings on a campus with heritage listing associated with the church that is 100 years old.

The craftsmanship in the church brickwork and the context defined the detailing and material selection for the school project, establishing a strong sense of place and connection. The building reflects the care, detailing, and religious foundation of St Mark’s. Detailing was collaboratively worked through on-site with contractors to ensure the outcome matched client and community expectations for this significant investment.

Existing environmental constraints required specific building fabric performance ratings to be achieved. As such, we focused our design to create warm, welcoming, and engaging internal spaces with the use of timber as a key element connecting to a natural material missing in many modern learning spaces.

Designed with social, environmental and economic principles in mind, the result is an innovative project which will be a reference to the future of primary school learning spaces in Australia.


Sydney Catholic Schools


Drummoyne, New South Wales, Australia




2016 - 2021


$8 million