Category Archives: Education

Learning environments

ACG Parnell

A completely new private school building for the Academic Colleges Group, in the grounds of the Royal New Zealand Foundation for the Blind (Bledisloe Estates Trust).

ACG Parnell | Auckland | 2004-2006

SK: BECA Job architect; Developed design to handover.

Includes classrooms, laboratories, music and drama rooms, art & design studios, gym and hall, staff rooms and facilities, offices, administration and two levels of car parking. Due to its urban location, the building was fully air conditioned, to control external traffic noise and internal temperature.

The structure was designed so that the educational fit-out could be removed and the building re-configured as residential accommodation or office space.

External claddings were chosen to be in sympathy with the surrounding urban Heritage, mostly of monolithic red-brick construction, with a visual aspect of weight and ‘depth’. This was agreed with the landowner client by the original design architect, who left the firm before the concept design was fully resolved. This design approach was reconciled with the current seismic and thermal standards, and to a tight budget – that tends to produce a lightweight and ‘thin’ appearance. The interior finishes were not designed under my direction.

The building was completed to budget, six weeks early.

Marshall Islands

Energy & Maintenance BuildingĀ housing equipment for the supply and management of electrical power and drinking water; combined with workshops, storage and administration.

College of the Marshall IslandsĀ | Majuro | 2006-2009

SK: BECA Design & Job architect

Combined facility housing a reverse osmosis fresh water plant – powered by the PV panels on the roof; water storage & supply pumps, electrical control gear, back-up diesel generators, teaching & maintenance workshops, stores, offices.

One part of a wider Beca involvement with the Marshall Islands government, including infrastructure, education and airport upgrades.

ACG Strathallan

Arts and Technology teaching building for a recently established private school.

ACG Strathallan | Karaka | 2005-2010

SK: BECA Design architect & job manager (stage 2)

The building contains teaching rooms for Art, Technology, Drama, Music, IT/Design and Science labs. There is also a large Library, a lunchroom, WCs, careers rooms, stores and staff rooms. The larger spaces are designed to be divided up into classroom size spaces, if the school builds additional specialist buildings for music and drama. The construction was divided up into stages to suit available funding arrangements.

Gurdon Institute

A new bioscience laboratory at the University of Cambridge; Phase two of a development constructed six years previously.

Gurdon Institute | Cambridge | UK | RHP | 2000-2004

SK: Job architect

Research and teaching building. Highly complex services, woven into a pre-designed structure and enclosure with a completely different brief from the original design. Sensitive heritage area with restrictive planning and environmental consent requirements. Three separate layers of client; constantly changing laboratory briefs as research priorities developed. A challenging design process, even more difficult to build; as the main contractor found to their cost.

Peterhouse

Heritage environment, refurbished to contemporary requirements.

Peterhouse Refurbishments | Cambridge | 1999-2001

SK: FSAL Job architect

Old Court (14th-18th C.) and Gisborne Court (1825) internally updated in two stages; during summer vacation times. Grade One listed buildings of national significance. Accommodation for students and Fellows of the College, including some teaching spaces and a computer suite. Also used for residential conferences. Complex client structure and project management issues. Peterhouse is the oldest College in Cambridge University – founded in 1284.

Some interiors were decorated with period colour schemes appropriate to the time of construction, including 17th & 18th Cent panelling, and Late Georgian era ‘Gothick’ style wall-papers.