Queen Margaret House, the new purpose-built boarding house on Queen Margaret College’s grounds, is a striking contemporary addition to the campus.
As repeat clients, the College were familiar with our collaborative working style and were confident that we understood their culture and requirements. They wanted the new facility to have its own distinct personality - so we opted for a bold contemporary style in contrast to the campus’s more classically focused existing buildings. The challenge was to maximise the accommodation on a compact inner-city site whilst respecting the local environment, particularly the adjacent residential street.
The scale of the hostel’s street frontage in the context of an established residential cul-de-sac was an important consideration. To achieve this, the façade is clearly organised around accommodation and commons activities and the mass, colour and detail of the upper accommodation levels carefully articulated. The school side opens to a playful re-developed shared courtyard at the heart of the school, creating a strong connection between school and residence and providing the opportunity for the Dining and Lounge spaces to be available for school use if required. At the upper levels eye-catching screens, with irregularly placed uprights, provide both sun-shade and privacy to the front and back of the building.
The hostel’s 40 single occupancy rooms are compact yet comfortable with practical built-in furniture. Their contemporary finish is already well received. Each floor has its own distinct colour palette and student lounge space that captures the sun and a compelling streetscape outlook along the adjacent Katherine Avenue. Privacy for both residents and neighbours has been carefully considered.
This is a bold addition to the Queen Margaret campus on what was previously a very low key part of their site. It provides contemporary and stylish accommodation for students with all the benefits of a direct connection to the shared adjacent outdoor learning and recreation spaces.
Project Location - Thorndon, Wellington, NZ