Vertical Schools as Community Hubs


Vertical schools, relatively new to Australia, are responding to increasing student numbers in central city suburbs with limited available land. School facilities such as drama, music and gym spaces, meeting areas, makerspaces, kitchen and eating spaces, and play spaces are typically located for potential community use. The analysis within this paper focuses on the traces of community connections that can be discovered from visual analysis of plans and occupied buildings. We compare emerging Australian vertical schools with European precedents. How and why are communities using vertical school spaces? What community spaces do students use and what are their adjacencies with school uses? What are the private, privileged and public spaces of vertical schools? Which schools operate as gated communities and how do the more porous examples address the safety of children? We consider northern European examples where vertical schools have had a longer history. Examples include the influential Danish Hellerup School, the ├śrestad Gymnasium, the Sydhavnen School, and, the Finnish Saunalahti School and the Swedish Barkaby School. This forms part of a larger analysis proposed by the authors for vertical schools.

Keywords:  vertical schools; community hubs; urban communities; urban

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