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Auckland Girls’ Grammar School Information Centre sliding doors in the curved wall of Resene Sushi
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Auckland Girls’ Grammar School Information Centre and Entry


Auckland

Auckland Girls’ Grammar School Information Centre and Entry (i-Centre) was an alteration to C Block, an existing classroom block dating from the 1960s. The project involved converting eight classrooms from a linear arrangement with a long ‘L’ shaped corridor into one open plan ‘L’ shaped space. The i-Centre includes a library, reading room, career centre, ICT helpdesk and meeting/breakout/project room for students.

Forming a new entry was integral to the success of the project. The entry replaced an existing bridge between C Block and the adjacent heritage listed A Block. The entry also provides new access from a ground level courtyard up one floor to the new i-Centre. The i-Centre and entry is a major thoroughfare through the steeply sloping school site.

Due to the construction of the original building, what remained once stripped out was two long walls of mostly windows, an exposed pitched ceiling and an empty floor plate. Few partitions existed where colour could be added in a balanced and compelling way to what was effectively a long narrow space.

Early on it was decided to use a striking circular patterned carpet tile to identify areas and add colour. Highlights and coordinates were picked out of these carpet tiles from the Resene Multifinish collection.

The issues and returns functions (and consequently the librarian work space) of the i-Centre are located adjacent to the new entry, central to the whole i-Centre. The issues/returns desk and work space morphs into the curved wall which encloses the reading room. This curvilinear form breaks up the otherwise open plan space. The curve is also reflected in the pattern of the carpet tiles and the layout of the walkways which are outlined by colour changes in the floor treatment.

Auckland Girls’ Grammar School Information Centre and Entry

The curved wall was treated as a shell with Resene Sushi on the outside and Resene Orient on the inside. The amoeba shaped whiteboard adjacent to the workspace is Resene Hypnotic with Resene Write-on Wall Paint on the curved wall with a Resene Sushi base.

Resene Sushi
Resene Sushi
Resene Orient
Resene Orient
Resene Hypnotic
Resene Hypnotic
Resene Half Fuscous Grey
Resene Half Fuscous Grey
Resene Botticelli
Resene Botticelli
Resene Lemon Twist
Resene Lemon Twist
Resene Thunderbird
Resene Thunderbird
Resene Wicked
Resene Wicked
Resene Gingko
Resene Gingko
Resene Iko Iko
Resene Iko Iko
Resene Quarter Surrender
Resene Quarter Surrender
Resene Double Stack
Resene Half Stack

To deal with wear and tear to the mild steel lintels over the large, top hung, sliding doors in the curved wall, the specification was upgraded from a waterborne enamel to an epoxy, Resene Armourcote with Resene Uracryl 402 topcoat in Resene Half Fuscous Grey. Exterior steel posts, columns and balustrades are also finished in Resene Armourcote 220 and Resene Uracryl 403 with Resene Sonyx 101 in Resene Botticelli on the entry canopy soffit. Most interior areas are finished in Resene Zylone Sheen or Resene SpaceCote.

Blocks of ‘closed’ spaces, the Careers space, storage cupboards and a group of meeting rooms were treated as abstract compositions. The main wall colour to these blocks, Resene Lemon Twist, was composed with the other highlights picked out of the carpet tiles; Resene Orient, Resene Thunderbird and Resene Wicked on feature walls, feature doors and details. This and tonal accents to the remaining doors of Resene Gingko and Resene Iko Iko give visual depth to the elevations.

Auckland Girls’ Grammar School Information Centre and Entry

The dominant ceiling was enhanced by an inverse ‘V’ shaped services duct which is edge lit with blue lights washing down the ceiling plains. This light is also readable from outside. For the general low level walls and ceilings, a neutral, pale grey, Resene Quarter Surrender was used given the demanding school environment.

Auckland Girls’ Grammar School Information Centre and Entry

Joinery throughout is primarily a navy melamine as a unique neutral with pale violet and chartreuse accents to coordinate with the overall colour scheme. Arresting bright teal blue and lime green, a near perfect match for Resene Sushi, laminates were used for the issues/returns desk and ICT helpdesk to draw attention to these pivotal functional elements.

The exterior of the new entry is clad in natural copper which reflects the copper dome of the adjacent A Block and precoated aluminium cladding. The natural copper works particularly well with the finishes of the adjoining buildings, brick and exposed concrete.

Auckland Girls’ Grammar School entrances

The entry canopy and exterior projection of the window seat are navy powdercoat. The floor spandrel is lime green opaque glass. Both these finishes co-ordinate with the exterior and reflect the internal colour scheme. Exterior steel columns, posts and balustrades are coated with Resene Armourcote with Resene Uracryl 403 topcoat in Resene Half Stack.

Educationally the i-Centre was conceived to be the heart of learning; the core of the school. As such it is a pivotal space that should reflect the student body and identity of the school. The fresh, clear hued, vibrant colours place the space strongly in the Pacific region without being kitsch. Careful yet playful use of colour was crucial in creating fun, well defined spaces in what was an unusually proportioned site.

Architectural specifier: Peter Davidson, Danielle Foulkes, Brewer Davidson Architects Ltd
Building contractor: Aspec Construction Ltd Interior Division
Client: Auckland Girls’ Grammar School Board of Trustees
Colour selection: Danielle Foulkes, Brewer Davidson Architects Ltd
Lighting design and electrical engineering: Kin Leung and Andrew Hogg, Lumin8
Painting contractor: DFS Construction Ltd
Photography: Dean Thompson, Danielle Foulkes

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