Hartford College

2024 Gwea Country / Daceyville, NSW

Alterations and additions transform a school into a state-of-the-art campus that embodies it’s philosophy.

Hartford College is a Catholic Liberal Arts school for boys in years 5 to 12 which opened in 2023 and inhabits the site of a former Catholic primary school. The college is located in heritage-listed Daceyville, in eastern Sydney, a garden suburb planned by Sir John Sulman around the time of WWI.

SCA’s masterplan consists of several phases of work. A completed initial stage comprises the refurbishment of existing 1950s single storey brick buildings into a science lab, art room and workshop.

The next stage adds facilities and a street presence to mark out the educational precinct, elevating its previous domestic scale to a place of learning and development. The legacy style reflects the ethos of the school with high quality design and materials.

A new entry gateway to the campus is framed by a new chapel and vertical bell tower on one side and a new resource centre/library on the other, signifying the central importance of faith and knowledge to the school.

They open to a covered central space that doubles as play/exercise area and assembly area, with seating for larger outdoor gatherings. This courtyard is cloistered by all wings of the school.

A new second storey sits above, also of patterned brick, punctuated with metal concave facades of eucalyptus green, their curved forms softening the red facades. This level accommodates classrooms, and further outdoor covered learning areas. Multiple breakout spaces provide places for individual mentoring of students, a core part of the school pedagogy.

By layering this second storey over existing and new buildings, the facilities are linked and integrated, reflecting the school’s philosophy of incorporating the sciences, faith, the pursuit of knowledge and development of personal character, bringing them together in a cohesive whole.

Prominent signage, welcoming entry and pedestrian links, with clear way-finding are complemented by generous landscaping to soften the structures, enhancing its garden suburb setting.

Materiality features longevity and durability, the palette of materials, tones, textures referencing the heritage area.

The efficient and effective use of spaces and the incorporation of the educational ethos in the design adds value and elevates the school brand.

Project Team

Sam Crawford, Gabrielle Pelletier, Héléna Short, Rhys Nicholas, Justine Anderson, Justin Pak, Sofia Nay

Consultant Team

Landscape Architect – Taylor Brammer Landscape Architects
Heritage Consultant – Weir Phillips Architects
Structure & Services – ACOR
Traffic Engineer – SLR Consulting
Arborist – Tree IQ
Civil Engineer – ACOR
Geotechnical Engineer – SLR Consulting
Acoustic Consultant – WSP
Waste Management Consultant – Dickens Solutions
BCA Consultant – BCA Logic
PCA – Aramini + Leedham Consulting
Town Planner – Creative Planning Solutions
Quantity Surveyor – RPS


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Hartford College


Josh Hill Photography