Norwest Christian College

Paynter Dixon has partnered with Norwest Christian College to design and deliver the innovative Secondary Learning Precinct which embraces the College’s learning framework, empowering students in their own personal development.

Located in the high-growth corridor of north west Sydney, Norwest Christian College is a faith-centred learning community with nearly 900 students from kindergarten through to year 12.

Paynter Dixon’s partnership with the College began with establishing a master plan to position the campus for continued student growth over coming years. From here, our team was engaged to design and deliver the atrium building, which embraces the College’s learning framework of ‘Building Purposeful Lives’.

While the framework is well established in teaching and curriculum, the Secondary Learning Precinct embraces these principles in design. With a focus on responsibility, students are encouraged to harness the internal spaces. The building comprises:

  • eight classrooms
  • three science labs
  • STEM facilities
  • multiple open collaboration areas
  • private study areas
  • 150-seat lecture theatre
  • two-storey atrium with learning stair


Acoustic trees and a spacious two-storey atrium void create a sensory transition between outdoor and indoor environments. Subtly reinforced by natural light, natural colour finishes and the tree motif of internal columns, the building evokes a calm ambience. As a principle of design, acoustic performance has been carefully engineered to support student concentration and attention.

A cluster of four classrooms around a central collaboration space allow classrooms to spill out to an adjacent area while maintaining sight lines for teaching staff. Positioned centrally to the two-storey atrium, the dual-purpose learning stair provides a prominent gathering place with seating capacity for 600 people, from school assemblies to informal gatherings.

The building’s under croft space has also been covered with synthetic turf to accommodate physical education classes and general recreation.

Overcoming challenges

With the new structure forming part of a unified building with the adjacent D block – which includes thirteen active classrooms – rigorous protocols were vital to maintaining safety in a bustling school environment.

Our responsiveness was put to the test with the outbreak of the COVID Omicron variant in late 2021. Pivoting quickly to the emerging situation, the team sourced additional labour to ensure the building stayed on schedule and was completed in time for the new school year.