As the first state school built in Wellington in over 25 years, Amesbury School represents a large shift in the way people think about education and the environment.
The school is modern in every respect, creating a vision for the next 50 years rather than reflecting the traditional structured learning of the last 50. Classrooms are open plan, with work areas created using sliding glass walls. Access to natural light and vistas has been prioritised throughout the single-level design. read more
The school was designed and built to a 5 Star Green Certified Rating to reduce energy use. Energy consumption is monitored and managed by a simple building management system that also acts as an education tool.
The school hall build was expanded to provide a community facility, a joint initiative of the Ministry of Education and Wellington City Council (WCC), that was partly funded by WCC.
Maycroft Construction was awarded the project in April 2010 as head of a consortium under the Ministry of Education’s Single Line of Accountability Model. In October, the design and a guaranteed maximum price was agreed upon in preparation for construction to begin on a staged building consent process in January 2011.
We enjoyed the challenge of designing and value engineering the project to meet the Green Star and learning philosophy requirements, all the while working within the limitations of a difficult build location and limited budget.
We’re proud of the end result and see the school as an asset to the Churton Park community. To show our appreciation, and the value we see in this school, the Maycroft Consortium donated a piece of artwork by well-known New Zealand artist Jeff Thompson. The piece, a rendering of New Zealand, takes pride of place in Amesbury School’s entranceway.
You can read about the opening of Amesbury School here.
Amesbury School was deservedly recognised with a Silver Award at the 2014 NZ Commercial Project Awards. As a design build contract with Maycroft Construction heading a consortium, we share this award with McKenzie Higham Architecture who worked so collaboratively with us throughout the process. Together we have created a school that is different from traditional schools in every way and delights all of those that teach and learn there. We see this award as sealing the complete success of the project.
Presented with a difficult site - a suburban landfill exposed to the weather - and without a formal client representative, the architects have designed a very successful group of structures around a sheltered playground.
A sensitive approach has yielded flexible spaces, and an appropriate recourse to extensive glazing has brought welcome natural light into the learning areas. Interior spaces are welcoming, generous and sophisticated, and the design accommodates community use of the gymnasium/hall.
Sustainable Architecture Award:
This community school project has many positive implications for sustainability. With an NZGBC 5 Star rating, environmental sustainability is demonstrated through adaptability of interior functionality, systems for stormwater, lighting and ventilation, and how this is all made visible and therefore championed. At suburban level, the school is an integral part of building a sustainable community by providing good quality education, amenity, and spaces that double for community meetings and recreation. At city scale the community school model is a clever ingredient toward achieving sustainable urban form through positive place making, building strong and educated communities, that attract families and working population to offset long term issues with ageing population. A very worthy use of a former landfill site and limited resources.
From the judges:
Eschewing the cliched resort to huge blocks of 'candy' colours, the architects have combined the sparing use of carefully selected and matched high-key colours with extensive glazing and low-cost material surface treatments, and well-chosen furniture fabrics and finishes. The overall effect is full of colour and joy.
The school was designed and built to a 5 Star Green Star Certified Rating, signaling “New Zealand Excellence” under the New Zealand Green Building Council (NZGBC) Education Tool.