Adelaide architecture firm JPE Design Studio has prepared designs for a $23 million upgrade to the Adelaide High School campus.

The school is located with in the Adelaide Park Lands by West Terrace in the central city, on the land of the Kaurna people.

The major part of the upgrade would be the Hive Building, a new social and learning hub for students, containing flexible specialist learning areas, teacher preparation, storage, amenities, canteen café and outdoor learning areas.

Also being considered for the school is a new storey addition to an existing building to provide flexible specialist learning areas and an upgrade of the student.

The Hive Building would be located what has traditionally been seen as the back of the school, facing the Adelaide Park Lands.

“It is the first building on the campus to engage with the Park Lands, inviting the landscape to become part of the learning experience day-to-day,” write the architects.

“The new terraced student verandah and café adjacent to the parklands will signify that this is no longer the back of the school. The building will be the new face to community life and will represent the school’s entrepreneurial mindset and contemporary pedagogy.”

The Hive Building at Adelaide High School by JPE Design Studio.

The Hive Building at Adelaide High School by JPE Design Studio.

Adelaide High School’s original buildings were designed by Sydney architects Edward Fitzgerald and John R. Brogan, who won a national architecture competition for the project in 1940. Their Functionalist design was realized in 1951, having been delayed due to shortages of labour and materials during World War II. Today the buildings are listed on the state heritage register.

JPE Design Studio previously designed the first major contemporary addition to the school back in 2015, the New Learning Centre. Reviewing that building in Architecture Australia, Julian Worrall wrote “While the new building appears grown from the same seed as the original, what is revealed on closer inspection is just how far the constructional and spatial dimensions of educational architecture have changed over the past 60-odd years, complicating any straightforward attempt at continuity of design.”

For the Hive Buidling, JPE Design Studio states that the design does not seek to look the same as the historic brick buildings, but to be a counterpoint to them, “expressing a new future for the school where education design incorporates the ability to adapt, experiment, and encourage independent learning.”


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