Vertical schools have arrived in Melbourne, heralding a new era in Australian school design. Inner-city Australian schools tend to be asset rich and footprint poor, which is why developers have turned to medium-rise developments on these sites. Prahran High School is one of Victoria’s first vertical schools and a fine example of what can be achieved in a small space. The school was brilliantly designed by architects, Gray Puksand, to get the most out of a small area. To maximise the amount of usable space the school has outdoor terraces on every floor and a rooftop recreational area with courts and a running track.
Australian schools have traditionally been fenced off and rarely used outside of school hours, but that old-school attitude is beginning to change. Education Minister James Merlino said Urban educational facilities, such as Prahran High School, “represent a new approach to education planning in Victoria. As we reform schools, we are looking for opportunities to transform communities.” Schools in urban areas that are undergoing rapid growth are now being thought of as ideal community hubs. As a result, these spaces are now being used outside of school hours and are becoming important meeting places for the wider community.
Our MAX® 150 Front Glaze is a specifier’s favourite, thanks to it’s flexible and compatible design, so we weren’t surprised when we heard Gray Puksand had specified it for this impressive project. The fabricator, Heritage Glass, did a great job and we were wrapped when the project claimed the top prize at the 2019 Victorian School Design Awards for Best Project Above $10M.
EDGE Architectural suites are well suited to educational facilities and we’ve enjoyed playing a role in one of Victoria’s first vertical schools. We were also involved in Richmond High School, another vertical school project in Melbourne’s inner east, which opened in early 2019. You can read more about it here.