Urban densification in metropolitan environments is increasing, and, due to this, schools must adapt. The current challenge in these environments is creating space for students in areas where there is both a lack of resources and physical space. Features that were once so common, such as outdoor playgrounds, large ovals and undercover malls, have been reduced in size in order to cater for the demand of additional spaces for pupils. This is due to the growth of population in urban environments.
Education designers who work in locations that are highly populated are now delivering vertical schools as a solution. The New South Wales Government has plans to build a 15-level high-rise school and a nearby 4-level primary school in Sydney’s western suburb of Parramatta. The school is forecast to be built by 2019 and will accommodate 3,000 students. The Victorian Government has also taken an innovative approach to planning schools in urban environments. A new vertical primary school in South Melbourne will be built by 2018 in order to evenly distribute the number of children enrolled in schools that are too full. Furthermore, due to the rise in inner-city real estate prices, vertical schools are often a more cost-effective option.
In Queensland, Premis Solutions is in the process of demolishing a single-storey facility within a primary school in Brisbane’s north to construct a new, multi-storey building that both reduces building area and provides for current and future demands. In doing so, the school will maximise its natural surroundings by building ‘up’ instead of ‘out.’
As expected, there are challenges that come with the provision of high-rise schools. Establishing and maintaining a sense of community is important to any school’s culture, and there is a possibility that students feel isolated from their surroundings due to their disconnection with the natural environment. Increasing outdoor space in vertical schools can be achieved through innovative designs and solutions, such as internal courtyards, rooftop gardens, and spaces that can change from indoor to outdoor areas.
Tags: vertical schools