The Best Way Forward is Up – Inner-City Schools are Going Vertical
As the population grows and we re-embrace inner-city living, Australian cities are experiencing a sort of re-urbanisation. State governments are looking to take our inner-city schools vertical to cope with the densification of our inner-cities and its impact on infrastructure while utilising open-air rooftop spaces for additional grassed recreational spaces.
Across the world and in locations where space is at a premium, the high-rise school is becoming a recognisable sight. Singapore, Hong Kong and New York all have bespoke facilities piling floor after floor of educational facilities into special buildings with acoustic conditioning, natural ventilation systems and extension opportunities as standard.
Brisbane: Fortitude Valley Brisbane
The Queensland government announced a $500 million proposal for two new vertical schools in Brisbane’s inner city region by 2020.
More than 5000 students have been added to the state school system in the Brisbane CBD over the last decade. Growth statistics estimates an extra 3000 students in the next five years.
The first of the two schools will be based at the former Fortitude Valley school site. The second of the two schools will be located in South Brisbane servicing the inner-south region. West End state school will also receive an upgrade with the cost of the project included in the $500 million budget.
Sydney: Arthur Phillip High School Parramatta & Parramatta Public School
Arthur Phillip High School and Parramatta Public School are two schools in the midst of a $225 million vertical school redevelopment. Designed by Grimshaw Architects and BVN, the schools aim to cater for NSW’s growing population, which is estimated to require an additional 164,000 public school spaces by 2031. Australia’s largest state will need to accommodate a 41 per cent growth rate of school-aged children in the next decade.
Arthur Phillip High School is NSW’s first public high-rise school, soaring to 17-storeys, while Parramatta Public has already reached four-storeys.
The schools are located in the heart of Parramatta CBD – a current hot spot for property development.
The new facilities are scheduled to open in 2019.
Sydney: Surry Hills High School
Located two kilometres from the Harbour City’s CBD, Surry Hills High School will join the list of schools included in the $5 billion NSW government investment scheme to combat the overcrowding crisis. The high school is a new $60 million vertical school planned for completion in 2020.
Designed by FJMT Architects the new buildings will house 47 classrooms, a gymnasium and grassed rooftop that caters to 1200 new students.
Sydney: St Patrick’s Cathedral College
As education continues to move upwards, St Patrick’s Cathedral College will see a new five-storey vertical school. The school is located in St Patrick’s Square and is one of the 12 new schools needing to be built every year to keep up with the Sydney region’s population demand.
Plans for the building include a modernistic rooftop, recreational space for students from preschool to post-school and in catering for modern families, the school will keep its doors open from 6am to 6pm. The multi- campus school will cater for 2000 new students by 2020.
Newcastle: West End
A 12-storey high rise school is on the cards in Newcastle’s revived West End. Newcastle education placed a development application for $90 million at the end of 2017. And as construction begins this year the new school will cater for more than 1250 students from preschool to senior year.
It’s projected an additional 5000 student-aged children will be living Newcastle in the next 15 years.
Located on a 4000 square metre lot the vertical school developed by Core Project Group and designed by EJE Architecture will include an indoor sports hall, lecture theatres and function centres.
Adelaide Botanic High School
The high-rise education trend continues in South Australia’s capital city with its first vertical school to open by 2019. Adelaide Botanic High School will cost an estimated $100 million.
The 7-storey building within the CBD will cater to 1250 students by 2021. It will include the construction of food technology kitchens, library and research centres, an indoor gymnasium and basement parking for 170 bicycles. The 15,750 square metre block designed by Cox Architecture and TCL incorporate an environmental design to minimise energy and water consumption in support of Adelaide’s pledge to the Zero Carbon Challenge.
Melbourne: Haileybury City Campus
Melbourne’s first vertical school, Haileybury City Campus, opened in January 2017. By 2050 eight million people are expected to be living closer to the Melbourne CBD and as a result Haileybury has taken the initiative in providing sustainable solutions to urban density.
Prior to its renovation the building functioned as a call centre. This one-time office block has 360 degree views of Melbourne’s city.
The architectural design accommodates 1500 square metres of outdoor spaces and gardens for its 800 students ranging from Early Learning to Year 12. The 10-storey building has two floors dedicated to art facilities with a professional standard drama studio. The school also hosts a sports hall and university level science labs. Students are dropped off in an underground basement and are also provided with bike storage.