Stirling House Conservation Works

A successful public-private partnership between the National Trust of Western Australia and childcare operator Schools of Early Learning has delivered an outstanding compatible and sustainable use outcome at a State Registered Heritage Place.

Stirling House, at 101 Stirling Highway, North Fremantle. The results at Stirling House are the result of a $2.35m investment delivered through a substantial financial commitment from the Schools of Early Learning, with National Trust capital and conservation expertise.

The site was a summer camping place for the Whadjuk, later a convict depot, and has connections to government education from 1886. The North Fremantle Primary School designed by Government architect George Temple-Poole, was built on the site in 1894 and set a precedent in co-education.

It’s a magnificent outcome 120 years later that an educational foundation set in the 1880s is underpinning innovative childcare and learning in Western Australia; the beautiful architecture of the old North Fremantle Primary School is matched by a wonderful design which will accommodate 112 children per day.

Stirling House Conservation and Reuse

101 Stirling Highway, North Fremantie. A Nationai Trust of Western Australia property with conservation design by the Trust and adaptive reuse works by Tom Godden Design.

The former North Fremantie Primary School opened in 1894. Designed in the Federation Arts & Crafts style under direction by George Temple Poole the place retains many of its features. The school closed in 1967. The place was used as a bail hostel, then as accommodation by Clontarf Aboriginal College and in 2011 was transfered to the National Trust in a dilapidated state.

A sucessful partnership between the National Trust and the Schools of Early Learning has conserved and adapted the place as a centre for the care and education of young children. The rich social history of the primary school, later uses and the distinctive built heritage features were priorities in the works design and reflected in the interpretation. The partnership has delivered innovative facilities, a creative outdoor enviroment in a spectacular heritage place.

The best heritage outcome is that the place is used for the purpose it was originally designed and built for. The former North Fremantle Primary School continues its role in the care and education of young children.

A $2.35 million investment by the National Trust of Western Australia and the North Fremantle School of Early Learning has delivered significant community benefits:

  • A long term, financially sustainable public use of a State heritage listed building
  • 13 construction related jobs
  • 24 new childcare jobs
  • A highly compatible reuse for a building designed for education over 120 years ago
  • High quality care and education for 112 children per day
  • Easily accessible childcare facility in a rapidly growing urban centre
  • A safe, secure, stimulating environment to encourage discovery, reflection and experimentation
  • Continued public education and learning programs
  • The conservation and long term care of a significant heritage place