South Melbourne Primary School





Completion date


The $40-million, five-storey school is the first among a new model of “vertical schools” proposed around Australia. The government primary school provides education for 525 students, with integrated community facilities for the growing Fishermans Bend community. The project was named the Future Project of the Year at the 2016 World Architecture Festival.

Images courtesy of Hayball

Acoustic Challenges

Marshall Day Acoustics was part of the design team providing integral acoustic design input to the project.

For this particular school, the site is in close proximity to the Westgate Freeway, and the design needed to address noise ingress from outside as well as between floors. Finding creative solutions to these challenges has involved creating solid external barriers around the outdoor learning spaces, which then act as a buffer to the internal spaces.

Amanda Robinson, our lead acoustic designer on the project,
comments “The importance of absorptive acoustic treatment
throughout a vertical school cannot be overstated, and is critical to the project’s success.”


  • 2016 World Architecture Festival Awards – Future Project of the Year, Winner
  • 2016 World Architecture Festival Awards – Education, Future Projects, Category Winner

“As the first vertical school in Victoria, the project is a ground-breaking one. One of the things we’re proudest of is the combination of a learning hub with a community centre for the local residents to enjoy, which embraces the connection between learning and recreation, students and neighbours”

Richard Leonard, Director - Hayball