Envisioning the Future
Innovation and Excellence

In 2020 Melbourne Girls Grammar launched to the School community a vision for a future that sees the empowerment of young women to take action, to embrace challenge and to have the ability to harness the ever changing landscape of their future.

It is therefore with immense excitement, and after months of presentation ‘pitches’, workshops and due diligence, we are able to announce that from a field of five shortlisted and exceptional architectal firms, the School Council has appointed ARM as our Principal Design Consultant.

Together, we will create the next chapter in Melbourne Girls Grammar’s history – one that will be characterised by a timeless elegance yet be bold in its quest to innovate and lead.

Our plan for that future is centred around the individual and involves the creation of an eco-system encapsulated by our culture and values, a learning mindset, and a belief in the importance of environment and the strength of community. A focus on innovation and excellence underpins the vision; our strategic decisions, supporters and partners will ensure that vision becomes a reality.

The Vision for Excellence

ARM has grown up doing interesting and complex projects many of which have needed deep historical and cultural understanding, and some even surgeon like skills. We like to think of architecture not so much as a matter of style but as an ongoing research, as particular understanding, as telling the stories of the project and thereby envisioning the future.

ARM does not have a ‘house style’, instead we like to think of architecture as emergent in the project, as an integral part of a dynamic community, something timely and appropriate while at the same time surprising. At the heart of architecture is the desire to make places for living, and human flourishing; it is this that makes architecture an integral part of our best ideas, expectation, and imagination.

We like to think of architecture as a kind of time machine, as something with which to visit the future. We love the idea of the Tardis – something which can become much more than it first appears.

Architecture is physical, material, experiential, even experimental, but perhaps it is also invisible. We like to think of architecture as part of an ongoing discourse, something which can accompany our hopes and dreams, something that encourages our highest expectations.


We like to think of architecture as part of an ongoing discourse, something which can accompany our hopes and dreams, something that encourages our highest expectations.

Howard Raggatt, Founding Director, ARM

ARM Studios On The Partnership

ARM is excited about working in partnership with Melbourne Girls Grammar on this transformational project for the School community. The project will be an agent of change for the Merton Hall and Morris Hall campuses; a catalyst to create educational experiences that are learner-centered, engaging, aspirational and future focused. We are looking forward to embarking on this journey together.

The project is an integral agent of change: one which has physical, functional, operational, and aesthetic outcomes and opportunities. Together we aim to untie the knots of campuses constrained by their iconic boundaries, to reveal the intellect and heart of Melbourne Girls Grammar.

Neil Masterton, Design Director, ARM

Strategic and Purposeful Thinking

The School’s Strategic Plan 2020-25 clearly articulates the importance of the environment – it is our third teacher, a stimulus for much learning, and provides a sense of place and history. Perched high on Anderson Street hill, Merton Hall has been a focal point for generations of day and boarding students. The iconic red brick walls hold many memories – the stories of past traditions vital to our sense of identity. But as with many sites around this great city of ours, the environment has shifted and changed to address the challenges of progress. So too our campuses. Both Merton Hall and Morris Hall have evolved in some instances creating a labyrinthian amalgam of disparate building styles, stairs too numerous to count, and cavernous hollows that conceal some of the exciting learning that takes place at school. In other places, people contest increased vehicular traffic, at times need a compass to navigate the ins and outs of buildings, or scramble to find ‘special spots’ to meet for lunch with friends, relax or play.

We know that when we have clarity of vision and align that to a defined benefit for our students, we can achieve amazing things. Wildfell, the Artemis Centre, and St Hilda’s Garden are some of our most recent successes. With vision, strategic planning and decision making guided by principles of educational excellence and 21st century pedagogical thinking and practice, we will unlock our campuses to create spaces fit for purpose that inspire curiosity, collaboration, commitment, critical thinking, and creativity. We will redefine the narrative of our campuses, to bring excitement and elegance, stimulate new learning opportunities, encourage social interaction, and create places in which to invite our community in to celebrate the excellence that is Melbourne Girls Grammar.

Over the next three years, Melbourne Girls Grammar will embark on the development of our Master Plan for the School that will define how this story will unfold. Stay tuned!


This is a story of collaboration, vision, and capability. We are creating a campus that defines the essence of MGGS, the strength of its community, and the future of education. Through the articulation and curation of our spaces we will encapsulate the culture of the School today, and inspire generations to come.

Dr Toni Meath, Principal

This is such an exciting and important project for MGGS. The School Council is keen to set the tone early around the pursuit of excellence and the strength of our partnership and shared vision.

Mark Burgess, Chair of Council

Find Out More

This section of the website will be constantly updated with new information, project developments and images. We encourage you to stay connected and watch as the future of Melbourne Girls Grammar’s story unfolds.

Should you have any questions or would like to find out more, contact community@mggs.vic.edu.au or Robyn McCutchan, Executive Director Marketing and Community Engagement on 9862 9200.

Photo Credits

  1. Shrine of Remembrance, Melbourne. John Gollings
  2. Melbourne Recital Centre, Southbank detail. Peter Bennetts
  3. Arts West, University of Melbourne. Ben Tole
  4. Melbourne Recital Centre, Southbank detail. John Gollings
  5. Melbourne Theatre Company, Southbank. John Gollings
  6. Monash Chancellory, Clayton. Rhainnon Slatter