Auckland, New Zealand
The initial scope of this project involved replacing just three classroom blocks and an administration block. However, final assessments of the remaining buildings confirmed that a complete rebuild of the school was required.
This $20 million two-stage redevelopment transformed the school into a modern, inspiring learning environment.
As well as providing new Innovative Learning Environments (ILEs), the redesign includes a new hall, library and administration building, new car parking and safe drop-off areas, and provision for a dental unit. All the buildings are connected by fresh landscaping.
Meeting Design Standards
The project meets all Ministry, Council, and Code requirements. It meets the Design Compliance Framework (DCF), State Schools Design Standards, and has undergone Design Review Panel (DRP) and weather-tightness peer reviews.
Changing Ministry urban design protocols were resolved by successfully shifting the design from the rear of the site to the front to create street-presence and a sense of place for the school and its community. The design was also adjusted to retain as many trees as possible.
Stakeholder engagement involved working with the school and the Board of Trustees, taking them through the process and rationale for shifting the new school location once the master plan had been approved.
Creating a Village
Koru’s desire to have a ‘village’ concept was identified and the design illustrates the school’s vision. This concept is reflected in everything, from the placement of buildings to the colours and finishes selected. The learning spaces themselves also play a key role in creating a village. The flexible ILE spaces provide dynamic environments that support the school’s collaborative approach to learning and teaching.
Key features of the school include ILE spaces with various stages and breakout areas, as well as covered learning areas, reading nooks inspired by treehuts, and interior storage centres clad in patterns that reflect a “whare” type design. Additionally, wayfinding mechanisms inspired by the colours of the local environments and community were used to create a sense of place.