With real estate stock becoming scarce and student enrolments continuing to rise, Australian schools across the primary, secondary and tertiary education segments are feeling the pressure. So how is design in the education sector building a new culture of learning in Australia?

Previously, schools would simply extend their existing building to accommodate the increased student numbers. However, the decrease in the availability of real estate in major city centres and outlying suburbs has led to schools building up when they can’t build out, creating the vertical campus.

The South Melbourne Primary School is the first vertical school in Victoria. Designed by award-winning Australian firm Hayball as a six-storey campus, the school was one of the earliest projects of its kind to be realised, marking a major turning point in the national design and construction culture. Educational institutions across Australia are responding to growing populations, urban densification, and shrinking spaces by building upwards instead of outwards. Notable projects include a 10-storey campus for Arthur Philip High School in Sydney proposed by Grimshaw and BVN as well as the five-storey Adelaide City High School by Cox Architecture, DesignInc and TCI, which is in development.

The South Melbourne Primary School was the recipient of the Future Project of the Year award at the 2016 World Architecture Festival in Berlin.

The South Melbourne Primary School has been designed as a multifunctional campus to foster a strong sense of community and cohesion. The differentiated learning environments are interspersed with learning spaces that transition between indoor and outdoor spaces, and are linked by a central staircase that serves as a central gathering space.

Carpet tiles from Gibbon Group were specified by Hayball to match the school’s innovative, high-performance design and maximise student comfort. Approximately 2300m² of Modulyss Opposite 907 and Modulyss Opposite 983 carpet tiles were installed in the school. Featuring a finely structured loop pile, the Modulyss carpet tiles provide a durable surface that stands up to the rigours of work and play. Additionally, Modulyss’ GECA Green Star certification boosted the project’s overall sustainability credentials.

The Gibbon Group commands market leadership with their high quality products, innovation and design flexibility. The company has been sourcing on-trend carpet roll and carpet tile ranges from around the globe for over 20 years. A critical understanding of design, strong focus on sustainability, and genuine commitment to delivering products that enhance user wellbeing and help shape healthy, happy and balanced spaces, make the Gibbon Group the ideal carpet supplier for multi-residential and education projects.

Modular carpet tiles from Tretford (Germany) and Modulyss (Belgium) allow for phased installation and produce significantly less waste than traditional broadloom carpet. Carpet tiles deliver several benefits to an interior project including outstanding appearance retention, long life expectancy, and design flexibility that allows for mixing and matching of colours, patterns and shapes in addition to easy repair and replacement in the event of damage.

One of the Gibbon Group’s oldest and most trusted products, Tretford corded carpet roll is made with 80 per cent highest-grade natural cashmere; is free from toxic chemicals, making it the perfect fit for creating healthy, luxurious interiors; and comes in a 2-metre width that lowers wastage and enables easy installation in high-rise buildings.

Tretford’s non-ravel construction, which allows fray-free cuts in any direction, makes the highly durable corded carpet stand apart from traditional broadloom. For over 40 years, Gibbon Group’s Tretford corded carpet roll has been made in Waterford, Ireland.

All Gibbon Group carpets can be sourced with specific backings that enhance comfort, durability, and acoustic and thermal performance, while extending the lifespan of the carpet.

Images: Dianna Snape