SRA Architects won the tender to provide masterplan lite and lead design services for Waimea College in the Tasman Region. Due to the large enrolment catchment area and new residential developments the current roll of around 1500 students is increasing rapidly. We were engaged to look at a final masterplan growth of 2000 students.
Stage 1 is complete, with students now in and enjoying their new classrooms. This stage sequesters over 280 tons of carbon. Sustainable NZ Abodo timber is used for the decking, and local manufacturers such as Nelson Pine & Potius were involved in the design and manufacture of the timber structure, much of which is left exposed, to showcase the structural capabilities of timber and the beauty of its natural grain and texture. Stage one consists of 9 new teaching spaces over 2 levels, including a horticulture room which opens up onto a north facing outdoor garden space to be developed by the students. Due to a request from the school, a more traditional classroom approach was taken with Stage one, but the inclusion of acoustically rated operable walls means there is some flexibility here.
Photographer: Kate McPherson - Stage 1
Stage two will be a similar repeat of Stage one, with 8 standard teaching spaces, however due to a different department occupying this area, the introduction of glazed sliding doors that open the rooms up means in this stage there will be the easy flexibility to have three teaching spaces combined, along with associated breakout spaces.
Due to the reasonably high sunshine areas in the region the decision was made to create teaching blocks that were accessed off shared external decks and paths. The second stage is in design development and will link to stage one with an upper level deck to allow easy access the lift and toilet block.
Materially, we have created a timber tech solution, where the only concrete in the building is in the slab. The structural shear walls are timber, while the intermediate floor and ceiling system are potius box beam sections. The intent is to engage with the students and have them learn about timber as a building product. The suppliers of the timber components are located within an easy drive from the school, along with the forest the timber was milled in.
The location of these two classroom blocks will create a grassed campus courtyard area for informal gathering and additional outdoor teaching space.