Ultimo Public School


  • Education

Ultimo, NSW

Department of Education


As part of the strategy to meet projected demand over the coming decade for primary school spaces in the inner city areas of Sydney, the Ultimo Public School will be demolished and a new larger school will be constructed on the existing site. To enable this project to commence construction, a temporary school has been constructed in Wentworth Park. The project has, at its core, the need to provide an engaging and nurturing educational environment for approximately 280 students while a new permanent school is constructed. The pop-up school provides 14 homebases and core facilities including a library, a school hall, a canteen, staff and administration office space and staff and student amenities.

The design delivers a setting that responds to contemporary educational pedagogy within the constraints of the standard demountable units. The use of outdoor space and creation of a central heart to the school are critical to this principle.

Overall, the temporary Ultimo Public School is an engaging and playful response to the educational needs of an inner city primary school. The design has responded to the physical constraints of the site in Wentworth Park and it also challenges preconceptions on how demountable classrooms can be used to create a stimulating learning environment. Through use of outdoor learning zones, colour and playful graphic overlays, the temporary school will be a place that leaves a lasting memory for the children and staff who use the school – a special, if fleeting, moment in the life of the school.

Photography: Tom Ferguson