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  • Singapore: Adelaide Botanic High School – A contemporary, Interdisciplinary Approach to Learning in a Vertical Setting

Singapore: Adelaide Botanic High School – A contemporary, Interdisciplinary Approach to Learning in a Vertical Setting

  • 17 August 2019
  • 9:00 AM - 12:20 PM (UTC+08:00)
  • Singapore

Learning Environments Australasia (LEA) in conjunction with Singapore Institute of Architects (SIA)


Adelaide Botanic High School – A contemporary, interdisciplinary approach to learning in a vertical setting

Venue: SIA Conference Room,  79 Neil Road, Singapore

Saturday, 17 August 2019

09:00am – Registration

09:30am – Session 1

10:30am – Break

10:50am – Session 2

11:50am – Q&A

12:20pm - Close

Seminar Fees:

Members of SIA or LEA: SGD $70.00.

Non-members: SGD $140.00.

Registration: via the SIA website. Visit:


If you are not an SIA member, you will need to set up a non-member SIA account in order to register. There is a special code for LEA members to access the LEA member rate - if you are an LEA member, please email hello@a4le.org.au for the code.


This seminar presents the design and pedagogical issues and solutions in respect to one of Australia’s first “vertical” schools. The experiences shared by the speakers, one an architect, one an education-facility developer, will appeal to designers/architects, pedagogists, educators and educational-facility developers & operators.

As members of Learning Environments Australasia, the speakers will emphasise the importance, and explain the intricacies, of creating “learning environments” within a ‘vertical’ setting. This talk will be of special significance to Singapore-based designers/architects and education-facility developers and operators as they will be able to draw comparisons between different contexts of Singapore and Australia/Adelaide and how these contexts are addressed when strategising and designing ‘vertical’ schools.


Deb O’Riley, Director New Schools, Department of Education SA and Adam Hannon, Director, Cox Architecture

The new $100m Adelaide Botanic High School in Adelaide was completed in November, 2018 and opened from term 1 2019, providing 1250 students from inner-city suburbs with greater access to high quality secondary learning. The school is South Australia’s first ‘vertical high school’ and started with year 8 and 9 students initially and will grow to 1250 students by 2022.

This innovative school has set a new benchmark in the physical form, design and function of a contemporary school, as well as the quality and range of the learning experiences and opportunities that it has generated for all learners. The exciting educational program creates an active and interdisciplinary learning platform to develop and showcase innovative and contemporary learning with a STEM focus. The school’s unique setting within parklands and adjacent key educational, cultural and civic institutions has enriched the learning opportunities available to educators and students.

Surrounded by leafy green spaces, botanic gardens and the vibrant Adelaide Zoo, our students have the opportunity to become a vital part of a broader hub of universities, businesses, the museum, state library and performing arts facilities.


Deb O’Riley – Director of New Schools, Department for Education, South Australia

Deb O’Riley is Director, New Schools, for the Department for Education, South Australia. Deb is an enthusiastic and passionate educator and has held teaching and leadership roles in a variety of schools and education settings in South Australia.

More recently her focus has been to understand elements critical to the successful delivery of contemporary learning environments. Deb believes that learning environments need to encourage and promote multiple modalities of learning, supporting individual, small and large group work.

As Director for New Schools, Deb has an exciting opportunity to lead a team to create inclusive learning environments where physical, social and pedagogical elements continuously evolve, and teaching and learning is enacted with energy and imagination.

Adam Hannon – Director, Cox Architecture

As a Director of Cox Architecture in South Australia, Adam is involved in a diverse range of projects and is passionate about high quality design outcomes that shape both Adelaide and beyond. Adam has extensive experience designing education projects and is enthusiastic about contemporary learning environment outcomes that exceed current trends and expectations. Adam works closely with clients and educators to develop project briefs and design responses that maximise project outcomes, and has a demonstrated ability to create architecture that is engaging, creative and unique.

Adam is the lead architect for the Adelaide Botanic High School and has recently worked with the Department for Education to create the first vertical high school in South Australia. Adam has led the COX and Design Inc team to create a contemporary learning environment in a remarkable landscape setting that engages students and staff in an setting that offers both opportunity and creativity. Adam continues to evolve his role working on learning environment design in collaboration with his clients and colleagues.

Credit Photography - Sam Noonan

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