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Murray Bridge High School Redevelopment

Murray Bridge, South Australia

The redevelopment of Murray Bridge High School (MBHS) set out to improve, inspire and shape the students and community alike. COX established a link between functionality and creativity, supporting MBHS’s journey towards a modern pedagogy. The redevelopment was designed with intent and inclusivity and achieves a sense of connectedness between students, allowing them to explore and interact.

The school is directly visible upon entry into town from Swanport Road, so creating a streetscape that not only embodied the town’s essence, but complemented the existing features, was carefully considered and achieved through engagement with the community and stakeholders.

The interior built form was inspired by the Murray River and its power in shaping the town and land around it. The river’s escarpments, perches and edges inspired formal and tactile design decisions while internal features and material choices were derived from the interaction between earth and water along the river’s edge; the striations and forms that are created.


The central plaza and atrium are located at a key circulation node on the site, allowing students to benefit from the space and encouraging interaction across the cohort. This sense of shared ownership and responsibility was core to the brief, design ethos, and school’s ongoing culture.

Due to the challenging climatic conditions of Murray Bridge, design elements were incorporated to enable use of facilities year round. The building predominately faces north-south for passive sun control while east-west extents are positioned to utilise the shade from existing trees. The use of natural and sustainable materials was a key consideration, leading to the use of cork as flooring and internal linings.

COX worked closely with our client, user groups and stakeholders to deliver a conscientious project. With a large aboriginal community, consultation with the Ngarrindjeri people ensured a connection to land and informed design elements throughout the project.

Through meticulous detail and planning, COX worked with the client and contractor to deliver this project on time and on budget, simultaneously adhering to the brief and ensuring exceptional outcomes.


Award, Educational Architecture, AIA SA 2022
Commendation, New Building/s or Facilities Large, Learning Environments Australasia SA/NT Chapter 2022

Technical Information

Murray Bridge, South Australia
Department for Education South Australia
Complete, 2021
Key Consultants
CPR, Lucid, Outer Space, Sonus, Tecon, Stantec
Sarah Constructions
Site Area
Tom Roschi