- Box Hill, Australia
Santa Sophia’s stunning new campus, officially opened in 2022, is the first school in a thriving new suburb in Sydney’s North West growth area. The state-of-the-art vertical school caters for up to 1,860 students ranging from Kinder to Year 12. Its six stories are filled with learning areas, creative and performance hubs, open spaces and sporting facilities. In a “game-changing partner collaboration” the school was built in just 16 months – and Playground Centre was thrilled to inject sky-high playful innovation to embrace diverse age groups. The priorities were to deliver multiple play opportunities to support the college’s efforts to “foster creativity and collaboration and prepare our students for life”. Also important was complementing the iconic, architectural design of the entire school campus.
The college’s playspaces prove the sky’s the limit when it comes to vertical schools. They embrace the school’s modern, playful aesthetic – and its commitment to celebrate diversity, boldness and a can-do attitude. In a brilliant combination of fun and function, a customised 5-metre tube slide allow students to “slide” down to different classroom levels. And that’s just the start of the adventures! There’s a 5.5-metre net climber that caters for over 60 users at a time, multi-coloured precision balls (used in parkour for precision jumping, launching and landing), parallel bars and balance beams, a commando net climbing wall, monkey bars, and climb through tunnel. For the littlies, there are wave slide, stepping logs and music making (via tubular bells, xylophone and conga drums). A Pukeko Perch provides real climbing experiences for juniors, that’s also loved by older age groups. To meet the demands of the school’s sites, all equipment was surface-mounted into a concrete base.