Baverstock Oaks is a full primary school established on a four-hectare greenfield site at Flatbush, one of New Zealand’s fastest growing regions.
Students enter under a grand canopy of preserved mature trees into the central courtyard lined further by more preserved foliage. With constraints guidelined by the Ministry of Education, classroom models were redesigned to achieve four classroom groupings.
These groupings and a teachers’ office are arranged around this central courtyard with large sliding doors opening out of the common
areas to encourage both formal and informal out-of-class learning. Sliding walls between classrooms and common areas promote interclass learning.
Environmentally sustainable design is evident throughout the project, including rainwater harvesting and natural ventilation systems, exposing students to environmental concepts. The administration and library buildings provide both an urban edge to the street and a generous sense of entry.
Working within tight cost constraints, the architecture establishes a strong and unique identity that is a focal point for the community
growing around the school. The multi-purpose hall can be opened up to the main entry space and functions as the interface between the school and the community. The hall is rented each weekend by three churches and a dance school, and the internal courtyard is used for major community festivals. In the words of the Principal, the school “has become the ‘village green’ of this rapidly developing neighbourhood”.
- 2005 NZIA – Resene Local Award for Architecture – Colour Award