Work on Queensland’s first vertical school has begun in Brisbane with the concept aimed at maximising built-up spaces on compact urban footprints.

Designed by Cox Architecture, the high rise school, Inner City North State Secondary College, is being built in Fortitude Valley in suburban Brisbane as part of the QLD Government’s $800 million Building Future Schools Fund.

Cox Architecture was commissioned to design the project after winning a competition by the Department of Education.

The first inner-city state high school built in Brisbane in more than 50 years, the project is being executed by Hutchinson Builders.

Chairman Scott Hutchinson recalled that his great-grandfather, Jack Hutchinson, had worked on the Manly State School in 1913. The company has built more than 500 education projects. The construction of the Fortitude Valley school will provide employment to about 300 people.

To be built over seven storeys, the new school will include a performing arts centre, sports centre and main vertical building, all to be delivered as part of Stage 1 of the project.

Both traditional classrooms and contemporary workshop collaborative spaces will be offered at the vertical school, which is being designed to cater for up to 1500 students from suburbs such as New Farm, Teneriffe, Bowen Hills, Newstead, Spring Hill and Brisbane City.

The school is expected to open in 2020.