The redevelopment of Avondale College represents the single largest school rebuilding programme in New Zealand’s history. The project provides the school’s 2750 students with 92 new and refurbished teaching and resource spaces. Undertaken in three stages across four years, the completed redevelopment has transformed the school into a cohesive modern future-focused campus, which integrates design with the latest technology to support and be responsive to flexible and evolving learning requirements.
The key driver of the design was to form a well-defined and connected campus by creating an urban streetscape and courtyards through the arrangement of the buildings and landscape. Benefiting from an integrated architectural and landscape architecture team, the campus streets successfully act as circulation routes and large gathering spaces create junctions from which students and staff can reach teaching spaces and amenities. Specialist spaces have been integrated with administration, reception and staff areas, college shop, outdoor education facilities, ESOL and careers faculties and a student healthcare centre.
On arrival, a large glassed entry atrium opens onto an internal streetscape which expands to become a courtyard connected to a new canteen and the existing Art & Design faculty. Adjoining off this street, a laneway guides students to a rear, covered space with a soaring roof that references the Godwits that fly over the site daily. An original converted WWII hospital building is retained in the rebuild to link back to the schools historic past. The design makes strong connections to the site’s existing buildings, utilising ground-level breezeways and upper bridges.
Sustainability features strongly and was a key mandate from the College, who directly funded the following initiatives: double-glazing and shading devices to reduce glare and light penetration, rainwater harvesting, natural ventilation, efficient lighting and daylight harvesting, solar hot water-ready systems, double-the-code-required insulation, and insulated reconfigurable precast panels.
Utilising landscape strategy and architectural design to achieve the earlier mentioned urban streetscape, the team also designed a busway which incorporates an ‘enviropod’, which protects a downstream Pollen island reserve, and planting to enhance the site’s biodiversity. Cycle parks were developed specifically to encourage use of the low carbon transport alternative.
“The team responsible for the build have been very mindful of their responsibilities in creating the very best possible learning environment for the Avondale community: One that respects the past yet creates a forward thinking, energy efficient, high quality design that is attractive, robust and sufficiently flexible to be able to be adapted for the changing educational demands of the future.” Principal Brent Lewis
The project won an NZIA National Architecture Award in 2015 - find out what the judges had to say.
- 2015 NZIA National Architecture Award - Education
- 2015 NZIA Auckland Architecture Award – Education