South Australia will follow the lead of NSW and Victoria by testing a high-rise school in its capital city.

Adelaide CBD High School will be the state’s first “vertical school” and, like we’re seeing in NSW and Victoria, responds to space restrictions in our in our CBDs caused by a growing population and increased rates of urbanisation.

Located in Adelaide Parklands in the University of South Australia precinct, the building has been designed by Cox Architecture and will cater to a staggering 1,250 students.

Cox’s proposal involves the redevelopment of an existing building on the university site into a six-storey building dotted with amenity and landscaped terraces for learning and recreation on different levels. The school will have five rooms that cantilever from the buildings into the atrium, which students will cross on different levels on four bridges.


Cox’s design likely follows the example of international projects where, for instance in Europe, vertical schools have been common for many years now. But it also follows the lead of a host of new developments in Australia.

Recently, Grimshaw and BVN released the designs of a new high-rise school for Parramatta, while a little further south, Hayball architects have also been busy designing four new inner city high-rise schools for Melbourne.

But the high-rise trend isn’t restricted to inner-city school designs. Australia is ageing as fast as it’s urbanising, and in recent times we’ve seen a host of new aged care developments that are catering to those looking to retire in the city.

For example, a project by Woods Bagot in Adelaide, dubbed by the firm as “radically mixed-use”, will squeeze ten different services within an 18-storey tower, including retirement living, disability respite and specialist disability accommodation, retail tenancies, a community services hub, convention and meeting space and workplace.

All around Australia’s cities, architects are looking to high-rise buildings to accommodate a range of populations and their needs.