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Heretaunga College Redevelopment
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Heretaunga College Redevelopment


Upper Hutt

The redevelopment of Heretaunga College adapts and entwines existing buildings with new to create an environment for modern learning.

The existing 1950s timber framed ‘Henderson’ wings have been strengthened and opened up to create a shared learning area. New teaching and learning spaces are also clustered around the flexible shared-learning areas for each wing. This central space is formed in both plan and section to maximise natural ventilation and lighting by use of roof lantern windows at high level. Sliding glass doors and internal glazing between the refurbished ‘Henderson’ wings and new spaces have improved passive surveillance, visibility and the quality of natural light.

A central internal street or ‘Spine’ in Resene Grape replaces a meandering series of dark, damp corridors to connect the entire school and provides social spaces including a student run café and catering kitchen along its length. The café offers healthy café style food to both students and teachers.

The administration area has been reconfigured to establish a central hub for student services including careers, guidance, health and pastoral care.

Two major landscape spaces have been created. The Café Plaza welcomes students and provides a social exterior space adjacent to the Spine Café and Student Entrance. Learning spaces flow out onto exterior decks around the perimeter of the new landscaped Quad space that has been created between two adjacent wings and the Spine. The Quad is at heart of the school and is an important school community space that also provides a venue for outdoor learning, performance and places for students to be during break times.

Heretaunga College exterior

Heretaunga College interior

Heretaunga College Redevelopment

Integrating and adapting the reuse of existing building fabric with new has allowed the transformation of virtually the entire campus within the budget.

In order to give a sense of orientation and wayfinding we used colour to give each wing its own identity - Resene Woodstock, Resene Calypso and Resene Starbell. We wrapped this colour from inside to outside to accentuate the flow between the interior and exterior learning spaces and enhance the architectural form.

We chose three feature joinery colours (Red, Yellow and Green), and three feature carpet tile colours (Shawgroup Brite Green, Clear Red and Purple Heart), to complement the Resene colours and then mixed it all up to make each room unique while maintaining a strong identity across the site.

We kept the colour of some elements the same across the site to further strengthen the sense of place and consistency such as the Resene Jalapeno doors with Resene Delta frames throughout the learning and social areas. Resene Quarter Thorndon Cream is used across general wall areas with the restored matai floors protected with Resene Polythane clear finish.

In the administration area we wrapped the core of the building in calming Resene Sorrento and introduced Resene Stonehenge doors in the Resene Delta frames in order to maintain this calm atmosphere. Resene Tuna and Resene Sea Fog feature on the exterior. Where possible exterior finishes used the CoolColour variant of the colour to reflect more heat than the standard version of each colour.

In the spine we used coloured Decortech acoustic panels at high level in the feature colours used in the wings (Resene Woodstock, Resene Calypso, Resene Starbell and Resene Jalapeno) to visually link this space to the rest of the school.

Heretaunga College acoustic panels

Heretaunga College library

In the landscape, the landscape architects used white, grey and yellow paint to create an exterior spine perpendicular to the interior spine to link the exterior spaces from the Student entry stop right through to the Quad and Sport Centre. Learning and play graphics have also been applied to the new asphalt spaces to encourage interaction.

Although the redevelopment of the school was extensive, there was a large area of the existing school exterior to remain that was not included in the scope for repainting. Our challenge was to make a site wide impact while integrating the existing colour scheme.

There was pressure from the school to match the existing colour scheme as changing the entire colour scheme would be very costly. In consultation with the school principal we agreed to keep the existing Resene Coconut Cream colour to existing weatherboards and Resene Revolver to the foundation walls and slowly replace the existing burgundy and mustard features and trims over time. The new feature colours were selected as they are fun and add colour to the school, while being compatible with the existing colour scheme.

Resene Woodstock
Resene Woodstock
Resene Calypso
Resene Calypso
Resene Starbell
Resene Starbell
Resene Jalapeno
Resene Jalapeno
Resene Delta
Resene Delta
Resene Quarter Thorndon Cream
Resene Quarter Thorndon Cream
Resene Sorrento
Resene Sorrento
Resene Stonehenge
Resene Stonehenge
Resene Tuna
Resene Tuna
Resene Sea Fog
Resene Sea Fog
Resene Coconut Cream
Resene Coconut Cream
Resene Revolver
Resene Revolver

Architectural specifier: Opus Architecture
Building contractor: Holmes Wellington Ltd
Client: Ministry of Education, Heretaunga College Board of Trustees
Fire engineering: National Consultant Ltd
Interior designer: Opus Architecture
Other key contributors: Isthmus
Painting contractor: Dave Eagle
Photographer: Michael Heydon, Jet Productions
Project managers: Octa Associates
Quantity surveyors: Maltbys
Structural, civil and building services engineering: Opus International Consultants

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