Architectural History

We use a number of principles when designing changes to the THS environment, including respect for the deeper past and also our more recent architectural past. 

THS a history of innovation

This photo is of what is now Ku Ring Gai High School, but started its life as Turramurra High School, which was then built shortly after using the same architectural principles.

Extract from Designing Australian schools ...

"Innovations in school master planning took place within the NSW Government Architect’s Office c.1962-5, with Michael Dysart’s doughnut shaped classroom blocks grouped around a large central space, an acknowledgement not of progressive pedagogy as such but that the external environment of the school might shift the emphasis from the classroom interior, hence spaces such as courtyards, niches and open ‘squares’ as places of learning and socialisation."

The Dysart schools were innovative in two main ways. As with leading European and North American architects who designed innovative schools in the period such as Arne Jacobsen, Hans Scharoun, Denys Lasdun and Caudill Rowlett Scott (CRS), Dysart moved away from simple linear blocks or finger planned schools, which were typical in the postwar years. In their place he employed a series of square doughnuts in a sort of pinwheel configuration around a large central space. He usually placed a rostrum and bell tower – which sometimes also doubled as an incinerator – in that central space, which could then be used as an all-of-school gathering area. The scheme did away with indoor hallways and replaced them with covered walkways and cloisters. The second innovation was a novel construction process which enabled the erection of a structurally independent roof very early in the process. This allowed work to go on regardless of weather and proved to be a significant efficiency. By these means Dysart provided a new sense of refuge and place definition in the school environment while also devising an efficient system for delivering school buildings. While there was a general move towards ‘demonumentalizing’ school buildings in the postwar decades, the Dysart-designed schools introduced a different set of spatial relationships, one which recalled the deeper traditions of communities of learning."  More...

Designing Australia Schools

unusual, experimental or forgotten ways of designing and using schools

The start of THS ...

Some of the family ...


Pennant Hills