Wilson School - WSP Architecture | ArchiPro

Wilson School

Wilson School is the first purpose-built Special Needs School in New Zealand, providing educational care for children with severe mental and physical disability.


The school is located on land leased from the Wilson Home Trust. It is a tranquil and serene site in a well established park-like setting. The building connects quietly to the landscape and expresses a close relationship to nature without overwhelming it.


Its simple form in timber and glass, lies subservient to and beneath the surrounding trees and landscaping, and is therapeutic and calming for the users. There is a strong notion of ‘support’ as a key idea for the form of the building. This idea is expressed through the dialogue between the two key forms. The building is designed to make the most of natural lighting and ventilation, creating a sustainable and more enjoyable environment for the building users.


The project received full ESD funding for demonstrating environmental sustainability design principles.


Wilson School was awarded the NZIA Architecture Medal, the highest architectural award in New Zealand.

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