Schools are Looking Up in our Cities
They're going vertical!
Land is rare and expensive in our ciites.
Our population is growing.
Enjoying a lifestyle in central urban centres is a priority for many.
What's the answer for schools in areas of cities which are facing overcrowding?
Vertical schools might be seen in New York and other parts of the world, but in Australia, they are just emerging in our cities.
There's one already in Perth.
Plans have been done in Melbourne for a vertical primary school for over 500 students.
And there's another, a high school, in the wings in Sydney for over 2,000 students.
So what are some of the gains?
That's the obvious one.
Easing pressure on schools in central city areas where growing multi residential developments are housing thousands of school age children is an absolute must.
Plans for high rise school buildings up to 14 storeys are under way.
Minimising the urban footprint is essential
Increased advantages for the playground.
More space is being set aside for sport and recreational outdoor facilities thus avoiding so much "sprawl" .
Outdoor terraces can double as learning hubs and spaces for physical activities. It's all about maximising space.
The heart of the vertical school is the amphitheatre - something like a tiered"Piazza" where everything from performance to assembly takes place.
Increased physical activity for students.
The need to move between levels and circulate throughout each floor via stairs rather than lifts encourages good health.
It's not without its drawbacks though: congestion around key areas does need to be addressed.
Fire regulations need to take high priority.
Staggering start/finish hours, and mixing types of classes in shared spaces are just a few necessary measures to suit the nature of the building.
New ideas about how the school day operates might challenge old ways, but are fresh, innovative and more directed towards lifestyle.
Increasingly, educators are finding new ways of learning and teaching.
Schools are moving with the times.
It's great that our city planners are getting on board to embrace the change.