Kahurangi School, meaning “prized” or “precious” opened in September 2013, merging two existing schools, Strathmore Community School and Miramar South School. The design creates a new beginning, with buildings that provide a strong sense of its identity, reflecting the rich cultural diversity of its community and with Pasifika/Maori in particular.
S&T led the creation of a new master plan for the school as well as the design of modern learning environments, utilising the existing buildings from both schools. The plan proposes better connections to the surrounding community, improved traffic management and a proposed new community centre/covered indoor pool facility to replace the current, aging outdoor pool.
The planning and design process involved extensive consultation with the staff and communities of both schools. One of the challenges of the project was determining how to merge two schools, both with long histories, into one which both recognises their individual pasts and also creates a new single identity for the future.
Another key challenge was creating something visibly new that gives the school a new identity while reusing the existing building. Part of this identity is representing the surrounding diverse communities (which have strong Pasifika, Maori, and Asian populations) this was achieved through colour, the entry canopy forms and painted artwork in the playground which all have a Pasifika theme.
To reduce the buildings impact on the environment materials were locally sourced, Rimu was salvaged from the original heritage buildings for the floors and reception desk.
“It’s been an excellent partnership. S&T have worked hard to truly hear every single voice throughout the consultation. We all love how they’ve woven our wishes into our own uniquely designed school that feels like our own and perfectly fitting of our needs.” – Kyran Smith, Principal Kahurangi School
Photographer: Paul McCredie
CEFPI Australasia Awards, Commendation, 2015
Property Council New Zealand, Award of Merit, 2015
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