Future-focused detailing in learning environments. Worked closely with broad stakeholder group and builder to deliver a large-scale project on time and budget.

Fortitude Valley State Secondary College was developed in conjunction with the Queensland University of Technology (QUT). The school is a flagship, future-focused educational facility for Years 7-12 in Brisbane’s inner north.

The vertical design solution reflects its inner urban setting while the existing 1950s school building has been repurposed as the music education building.

Stage 1 opened in 2020 to the first intake of grade 7 students and by 2025 the college population is expected to grow to 1,500 students. Technology will be a key part of the new school with innovative and future-focused approaches, supported by strong university and community partnerships.

Critical budget issues were addressed whilst retaining the design intent and improving the functionality of the school for its users.

ThomsonAdsett worked collaboratively with the school leadership team to customise the design to suit their model of school operation with a focus on staff and student circulation.

ThomsonAdsett has since completed the development of Stage 2 of this project which provides an indoor sports centre and senior specialist learning spaces in the form of another multi-storey building.


Queensland Government Department of Education


Fortitude Valley, Queensland, Australia


Construction Administration

Construction Documentation

Design Development

FF&E (original design by Cox Architecture)


Stage 1 completed 2019


Estimated $80 million


Cox Architecture


2021 World Architecture Festival, Completed Buildings – School

2021 Australian Institute of Architects, National Architecture Awards, Educational Architecture shortlist

2021 Australian Institute of Architects, Queensland Architecture Awards, The Jennifer Taylor Award for Educational Architecture

2021 Australian Institute of Architects, Brisbane Regional Architecture Awards, Educational Architecture commendation

2020 Learning Environments Australasia, Queensland Chapter Awards for Excellence in Education Facility Design, New Construction / Entire New Educational Facility commendation


Working with the team from ThomsonAdsett challenged me to think differently about our approach and the way we have always done things. To achieve this, there was a lot of communication, collaboration and consultation to understand what we needed, how we needed it to function, and whether what was suggested would actually work.

Sharon Barker, Foundation Principal
Fortitude Valley State Secondary College