Inside a paradigm shift: Perth's first high rise city school

Published: Tuesday 14 March 2017

On par with global innovation trends, Perth's first high rise school has influenced a shift in school design in Western Australia.

Nestled amongst the towers of Perth CBD sits St George’s Anglican Grammar School on William Street. The November 2016 visit to St George’s Anglican Grammar School by Learning Environments Western Australia members showcased Perth’s first high rise school, completed by DWA Architects in 2015.

The project included the interior fit out of a multi-storey base building with a full accommodation programme to cater for students in Years 7 to 12.

Bold colours were chosen to engage with students, each level with a unique colour to assist with wayfinding. Formal learning spaces break out into learning lounges, with large windows drawing in plenty of natural light and presenting views down William Street to the Swan River.

Colourful built in seats and moveable furniture enable flexible informal learning and social interaction. Library, cafeteria, science laboratories, visual arts and music spaces are accommodated on site, with administration located in the adjacent building and sports classes and events held off site.

St George’s Anglican Grammar School has developed relationships with other providers within the Perth CBD, including City of Perth, the Art Gallery of Western Australia and others, to share facilities and enhance the diversity of educational experiences for students.

The provision of this high rise school has influenced a paradigm shift in the way the design of schools are viewed in Western Australia, particularly with an emerging push in parts of our community for increased density within our cities.

It will be interesting to participate in forthcoming discussions regarding the provision of high rise city schools into the future.

Michelle Chew

Associate Director, Parry and Rosenthal Architects