Remarkables Primary School
Ministry of Education/Naylor Love
Completed August 2010
NZ Architecture Award 2012 for Public Architecture
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Remarkables Primary School [417KB]
August 2010 saw the official opening of this award-winning, new primary school, although first classes were admitted in February 2010.
The first new primary school in the southern South Island for 30 years, the school's Establishment Board had a strong vision for the approach to teaching and the values of the school. Our ambition was to create a school that embraced those core values - one that provides a welcoming, caring and inclusive environment, serving the needs of the learning community.
An adaptable environment was required that would meet current and future pedagogical needs of the anticipated 460 school roll. With a stunning setting between Lake Wakatipu and The Remarkables, Babbage wanted an architectural form that responded to and was fully integrated with the landscape.
The site presented a number of challenges for Babbage. It was approximately half the size of a typical primary school site with a 20m fall across the site. It is exposed to the prevailing winds off the Frankton Arm and with only 100m road frontage there is a limited area for drop-off and pickup. Probably the single biggest challenge, however, was the close proximity to the flight path in and out of Queenstown Airport.
As a response to the site conditions, the buildings have been arranged as a wind break around the play areas, the social heart of the school, to enable comfortable year round use. The natural contours of the site have been used to create an outside auditorium/performance space embraced by the buildings, which appear to be emerging from the surrounding landscape. The natural tones of the materials used enhance the notion that the buildings are part of the landscape.
Response to the school design has been very positive, both locally and nationally, winning a NZIA National Award in Public Architecture, an NZIA Southern Architecture Award in Public Architecture, Southern Region Registered Master Builders Commercial Building of the Year 2011 and a merit award at the Property Council New Zealand Rider Levett Bucknall Property Industry Awards. This project was also one of four shortlisted for the 2012 New Zealand Architecture Medal, the highest award in New Zealand for architecture.
Photographs:Marina Mathews Photography
Disciplines involved in this Learning project were: