Project Description

St Catherine Laboure Catholic Primary School

The re-imagined facility at St Catherine Laboure Catholic Primary School now provides 14 new learning spaces, connecting to 7 refurbished spaces located around a shared central learning hub. 


During an in-depth consultation, JDH undertook a comprehensive process to ensure that the school, Parish and local community were involved in the creation of these new learning and living precincts. This collaborative involvement gave us a deeper understanding of the school community and ensured we implemented such teachings into the overall design.


Our challenge was to construct a contemporary future-focused environment which was flexible and able to support a variety of pedagogies and the needs of the local community. We were tasked with creating three new learning hubs located around a central shared learning street for a school community of 650 students. The articulation of the learning street provided ways in which the teaching and learning practise could thrive. We wanted to build a place where students and the community could come together to share and celebrate learning.

As such, we engaged in Design Thinking Workshops and sought to elicit new ways of thinking about the school and its place in the community. Here, we learnt that focusing on the people was paramount. This led to a successful flexible outcome for the community, with clear evidence of links between the design and the educational approach. The design of the new dynamic and flexible buildings that has resulted in improved utilisation of spaces and the creation of purposeful activities.


The planning process resulted in a new school campus that celebrates and supports the school’s vision for collaborative teaching and learning. This provides an inspiring, welcoming and inclusive learning experience for all. Spaces are designed to meet the needs of learners, both young and old, in the following ways:

  • Flexible learning areas which open for collaborative learning and close for instructional learning.
  • Mixed models of furniture for reflection, multiple sized group work and project-based learning, allowing students to engage with their learning in different and personalised ways.
  • Generous break-out areas for performance and presentation.
  • This includes a green screen, tiered seating for presentation and storytelling areas.
  • Transparency between classrooms to encourage teachers and students to share ideas. Quiet spaces that promote independent learning and act as peaceful retreats for study.


By bringing architects, teachers and students together in the collaboration stage, JDH Architects have created spaces built with a variety of users in mind.  Here, parents, friends and members of the school can come together and feel connected in communal spaces that spark ideas and ignite passions.

As winner of the Learning Environments Australia New Facility Award, the design of this school was credited to align with JDH’s values, pedagogy and place, and inspire deeper learning.  JDH have designed the spaces to be transparent, connected and highly flexible. It’s these qualities embody our company values, as architects that truly care about providing innovative and meaningful designs to make each client’s aspirations for learning shine.

Project Details


Master planning, Architecture




St Catherine Laboure Catholic Primary School