International Grammar School

This coeducational, non–denominational day school follows a bilingual approach to education, introducing students to a second language in preschool and continuing this through high school. The school facilities are housed in an adaptively re-used warehouse and a purpose-built school building, forming a u-shaped courtyard. The solution addresses the problem of building a multi–level school on a relatively small site in the inner city.

The design of the building is colourful and deliberately diverse and reads clearly as a contemporary layer in the urban context. A ceramic entry mural by Lloyd Kellerman responds to the remnants of painted signs on the retained wool-store building. The design aims to give physical expression to the school’s educational and social objectives and to the vibrant and enthusiastic spirit of which it is proud.

“IGS is an independent arts-based establishment, pre-school to 12, with a strong emphasis on music and language teaching…….. It makes for an unusual school community, united not by class, expedience, faith or even parental ambition so much as adherence to a broad but intensely humanist tradition. This, roughly, was the brief to the design team, led by Peddle Thorp and Walker’s Diane Jones, and it is this sense of humanism, cultivation and optimism that quickens the architecture.”

Elizabeth Farrelly, Designing Woman, Sydney Morning Herald August 05, 1997