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Te Waka Unua School


ASC Architects were commissioned to design and build a fast track modern learning environment classroom solution at Te Waka Unua Primary School.


This design solution is unique in New Zealand in that individual modules can be reconfigured and connected in many different ways in order to provide learning studios with break out spaces for a wide variety of different learning modes. In this instance the modules are strategically arranged in a staggered ‘L’ shape formation. By staggering the modules, breakout spaces and learning studios are formed directly adjacent opening learning spaces, allowing them to accommodate the positive spill-overs from activities generated in the larger learning areas. The ‘L’ shape layout also forms a semi enclosed courtyard which is used for outdoor learning and social interaction. Large full height glazing, sliding doors, and the use of canopies over the outdoor decking allows teaching activities to naturally extend outwards.

School exterior

This project was designed to accommodate 125 students and took five months from commission to completion.

A revitalising palette of accent colours we introduced using Resene Red Red Red, Resene Tangerine, Resene Curious Blue and Resene Limerick to represent the energy of the new teaching block. This is achieved through the accentuation of ‘picture frames’, feature walls, and negatives against other more neutral colours of the school.

These feature colours not only establish the overall building block as a visual anchor at the street frontage, but also helps to characterise each building module to reflect the unique design nature of the building. The feature colours are also carried internally along with Resene Black White to further emphasise the definition and to provide visual relief and interest.

Classroom - 2
Exterior detail-1
Exterior detail-2

Architectural specifier: ASC Architects
Building contractor: Galletly Builders
Client: Ministry of Education
Other key contributor: Opus
Photographer: John Doogan
Project: Resene Total Colour Awards 2015

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