Te Kura o Orangi Kaupapa | Northland School’s redevelopment designed by McKenzie Higham Architects delivers a colourful centrepiece to their campus.
Named ‘Te Kohanga’ (the nest), the project delivers 10 new learning spaces, a library, and a multi-purpose hall. The new buildings wrap around the school’s central courtyard creating a contained and engaging learning village.
On a constrained urban site, with modest outdoor space, minimising the impact of the new build on outdoor play opportunities was a fundamental design requirement. The project delivers the required spaces all under one roof with great relationships to the outdoors generally, and to the school playground specifically.
This design responds to its residential context, with the mass of the building broken up by recesses, steps in the façade, and with window modulation and scale. Material choice, finish and colours have been selected to sit comfortably with the residential neighbours, while unreservedly expressing the playfulness and joy of school from within. The colour scheme complements and extends the school’s brand palette.
The project was completed with the school continuing to operate on site throughout, with the new spaces built around the existing buildings that were then demolished once the new building was occupied. Both the school and community amenity has been significantly improved. The Hall is a multi-use facility for the school; for performance, dance, Kapa Haka and sport, and for community use out of school hours.
In the school’s words ‘our latest building is our multi learning space, Te Kohanga, the nest. This is an amazing space that the school community will all benefit from and provides a space for school wide and community events.’
Project Location - Northland, Wellington, NZ