Above: South Melbourne Primary School design render, courtesy Hayball Architects.
Designs for Victoria’s first vertical school, to be built in South Melbourne, have been released by the Victorian State Government.
Designed by Hayball Architects, the South Melbourne Primary School will be located on Ferrars Street and will accommodate over 525 students.
The development also incorporates an early learning centre, a recreational hub, and community rooms for multi-purpose use. Land adjacent to the school has been purchased for $19 million, upon which a park which will be developed, while a further $5 million has been allocated to local infrastructure including improvements for two nearby tram stops. School drop off points and upgrades to intersections are also planned.
Hayball’s Richard Leonard discussed the make-up of the project and its position within the modern environment. “The Ferrars Street primary school will incorporate 21st century learning spaces for students to learn and grow in an urban environment, offering elements evident in “typical” schools such as active play spaces and pick-up/drop-off zones, but in a vertical setting,” he said.
“With populations growing and a school shortage on our hands, the need for practical, spatially-aware schools is something we need to be acting on now to safeguard the learning opportunities for students in the future.”
The South Melbourne Primary School is a part of the wider Fishermans Bend Urban Renewal Area (FBURA) – one of the largest urban renewal projects in the world. The site also includes the recently approved trio of apartment towers at 850-868 Lorimer Street, also designed by Hayball.
The space-efficient vertical school is part of a government effort to ease enrolment pressure on schools in the vicinity, as well catering to the anticipated 80,000 residents who are predicted to call Fishermans Bend home over the next 40 years.
Australia’s first vertical school opened in Perth last year. St George’s Anglican Grammar School occupies a six-storey refurbished office block and is leading the way nationally, with the NSW Government planning four high-rise schools around Sydney and Melbourne City Council having last year approved plans for a 10-storey school in the CBD.