Project Description

Academy of Gifted Education, Takapuna

Sited around the beautiful white sandy beaches and local facilities of Auckland’s North shore. Takapuna is home to a first of its kind urban school. Catering for 150 children ranging from years 1-13, the centre is designed to be an inspiring and though-provoking space for gifted young children.

Presented with a challenging site, the existing commercial and residential building, required an integrated proposal and additional playground fit for its purpose. The idea was to imitate a kid’s fort, with a growing foliage net draped around the two buildings. The opportunity for frantic play is incorporated around the edge of the building, with artificial hill like terrains for kids to interact with. To enhance indoor outdoor connectivity, the curvature façade is incorporated with lookouts, for children to keep a watch outside while staying secure.

Sympathetic to the existing site, the proposal retains two existing trees, from which the building curves away. The continuous curve is further formed from the existing residential building up to the commercial, linking the two together with an internal basketball court as a central outdoor space. Cohesive movement throughout the building responds to the fluid landscape of the site.

To connect children back to nature the project employs a simplistic palette transitioning from heavy to light materials. The bottom consists of concrete to allow easy access into the reception and carpark, while above the planted mesh and timber roof structure create an airy and dynamic environment.

Keeping environmental sustainability as the core component of the design, the project employs a range of strategies for efficiency within the regenerative proposal. Retention tanks are situated to capture rainwater and solar panels positioned on the roof generate clean green energy. Furthermore, the eye-catching green foliage acts as a attracts insects and birds into the city, as well as purifying the air, absorbing acoustic energy, and providing children with a healthy healing environment.

Facts + Figures

Client: AGE School
Location: Takapuna, Auckland New Zealand
Construction cost: TBC
Area: TBC
Programme: Expected Completion 2021