A lofty tree-house at Barrenjoey Montessori.

The elevated bushland setting at Barrenjoey Montessori School presented a fresh outlook which integrated with a key aspect of the Montessori learning philosophy. Yet the site also presented some challenges.

School enrolments were growing, so additional classroom space was needed. Yet the additional space couldn’t compromise outdoor learning & play areas, and native bushland. It also needed to be bushfire and flood compliant, and had to mesh with Montessori’s unique educational approach where classrooms allow children to make creative choices in their learning.

It was constructed in a quality-controlled factory environment during December 2018 and siteworks were completed in January – outside the standard school term – ensuring no disruption to school activities. The classroom Hivve created was completely out of the box. It integrates seamlessly with the Peter Stitchbury-designed main building, creating a flow between buildings and an atrium area providing additional break out space.

It’s more than a classroom, it includes a bathroom and a kitchen. An in-classroom Hivve iQ control panel also allows teachers to monitor ambient temperatures & air quality and make adjustments to maintain the optimum learning environment.

Inside, the new classroom is awash with natural light. On the outside, natural finishes evoke a tactile, natural tone while the outdoor deck enhances students’ connection with nature. School principal Fiona Campbell is thrilled with the school’s new Hivve. “Not only has it given us a beautiful new learning space, the design has provided a strong connection to nature which we believe is crucial for children’s academic, social, physical and emotional development.”