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Client: Pembroke School

Location: Finniss, SA

Completed: 2017



Dimitty Andersen

Tim Fenton

Emma Wood

Kym Barwell


AIA 2018 (SA) Commendation for Educational Architecture

Grieve Gillett Architects were commissioned by Pembroke School to design a new environmental learning centre at their Old Watulunga campus on the Finniss River in South Australia’s south-east region.


The property provides students with an opportunity to immerse themselves in outdoor learning and recreation experiences as part of their life learning journey. The Old Watulunga facility brings together a range of curriculum streams including learning about ecology, sustainability, indigenous culture, food preparation, risk taking and physical development.

Situated at the top of the river rise, the building has been sited to maximise sustainable performance and to capitalise on views to the river and campsite. Complemented by existing amenities and a new kitchen garden, Old Watulunga features a commercial kitchen with outdoor servery to service large camp groups, and a large dining space provides a flexible space for mealtime, teaching and learning and after dinner activity.  The outdoor kitchen provides opportunity for students to cook and eat outdoors.

The architecture has been developed to showcase the surrounding landscape and tells the story of shelter and transient placemaking. Thick limestone walls drop below the roofline like found ruins and large glass elevations provide expansive views, natural light, ventilation and solar penetration in winter. 

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