ashwood high school

This series of projects by Content Studio for Ashwood High School completes the transformation of Ashwood College into one of Melbourne’s top performing high schools. It enhances the first stage of projects completed in the 2010s and fulfils the potential of the masterplan through the design of a new Senior School STEAM and Research Centre, the refurbishment of an 1980s-era industrial arts building, and the creation of a new school address on the main road (to be completed in 2024).


Ashwood High School is located on an open parkland site with porous boundaries, the Ashwood Wetlands to the south, and sports fields to the east. The projects take advantage of the parkland setting and work sympathetically with the existing landscape axis that organises the school. The design resolves the separation between the legacy industrial arts building and the school, interlocking landscape to learning spaces.


The new STEAM and Research Centre is a signature building for senior year students. Technology and science focussed classrooms encircle a double height atrium with views out onto the wetlands, the new library is both a place to study and to hold events. The atrium is a gallery exhibition and collaboration space for the visual arts, technology and science programs.


We converted the 1980s-era industrial arts workshops into art and fabrication studios. We added external circulation through a new veranda tying it to the new STEAM and Research Centre. When complete the access road will cross the old course of the Damper Creek and skirt the Ashwood wetlands to High Street, creating a new address for the school. The entry has been designed to allow safe access by all forms of transport, it includes a bike path, equitable pedestrian access from the street, and a bus stop for PTV routes.


Content Studio worked closely with Simon Ellis landscape Architects to connect the new projects to the school’s existing network of paths. We created gathering areas outside the buildings, which were oriented to take advantage of the extensive tree cover, both for views and shade.