Blackash was engaged by DesignInc on behalf of School Infrastructure NSW (SINSW) to provide specialist bushfire services for the adaptive reuse of the Former UTS Ku-ring-gai as Lindfield Learning Village for a primary and secondary school. The school will be delivered in phases: Phase 1 is now complete and accommodates 350 students and Phases 2 and 3 are due for completion in 2020 and 2021.

The campus, set within a natural bushland setting abutting Lane Cove National Park, was designed in 5 stages by David Don Turner formerly of the Government Architects Office and is an excellent example of the Brutalist style.

The site’s heritage and a strong landscape setting were seen as key to the future use of the school. The site is bushfire prone and meeting the requirements of the NSW Rural Fire Service and Planning for Bushfire Protection was challenging.

A new educational model focusing on each child’s well-being has been implemented at Lindfield Learning Village that will feature a schools-within-schools model, which allows a large school to be shaped by several smaller “learning communities”. (6 separate schools or Home-bases, from kindergarten to year 12, each will accommodate one class / level, i.e. up to 350 children).

With the advice and input from Blackash, a renewal program was documented and delivered that included:

  • Upgrading the Phase 1 school to provide a high degree of protection through BAL Flame Zone Construction
  • Widening roads throughout the site to provide for Category 1 fire tanker access
  • Provide the entire site as an Asset Protection Zone to Inner Protection Zone Standards
  • A new 150,000 water tank that is plumbed into the upgraded hydrant services
  • Upgraded internal fire services
  • A bespoke Bushfire Emergency Management and Evacuation Plan
  • Certification of roads, APZ and services for bushfire

Blackash worked with the design team to solve challenges relating to road access, bushfire, tree retention, landscaping, biodiversity, planning and a commitment to the community to open Day 1 Term 1 2019. Blackash and the project team worked collaboratively to design a school that balances bushfire and the school requirements while preserving the heritage values of the site and landscape setting.

Blackash worked closely with the RFS to resolve the design that has set up the next stages of the works program.

Lindfield Learning Village opened its doors to the first intake of students on Day 1 Term 1 2019.

Blackash will continue to work with SINSW, the Department of Education and the project team to deliver the next phases of the development.