Our Lady Star of the Sea is a new Catholic Primary School located in Cowes, the main township of Victoria’s well-known Phillip Island. The school is situated on a large rural site owned by the Sale diocese.
Our masterplan for the site incorporated learning areas that include an Early Learning Centre, a multi-purpose hall and a chapel. This popular holiday town sees a huge annual variation in resident and visitor numbers, undergoing an influx in population over summer. Christmas and Easter services are particularly popular, meaning that congregations swell and the facility needed to be flexible enough to accommodate and embrace this variation.
The new building achieves academic and administrative functions across two storeys with learning on all levels, and capturing the inspirational views out over the bay. The materiality is sensitive to its surrounding environment, reflecting local materials and colour palettes through a subtle manipulation of traditional coastal architecture. Sand-coloured textural blockwork anchor areas of fine textural render below the skillion roof, with shiplapped timber joinery adding a crafted nautical element that harkens back to the historic roots of the area.