Saint Kentigern Girls’ Primary School
Saint Kentigern Trust Board
Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland
The new Saint Kentigern Girls’ Primary School is located along the Shore Road frontage of the Primary School Campus. The prominent site provides a strong sense of identity, presence and arrival from the street while supporting a degree of separation, independence and security within the overall campus.
Sited on a steep slope, the building is organised in a stepping linear arrangement over five floors. It accommodates front of house facilities, school administrative offices, meeting rooms and basement carparking at the lower levels. A complete suite of teaching and learning spaces, social and associated recreational spaces to support a contemporary learning environment for 410 girls (aged 5 to 12) are accommodated on the upper levels. Each syndicate level is entered at grade from an outdoor terrace which doubles as recreational and informal teaching spaces.
As a ‘building in the landscape’ the building looks to articulate its relationship apart from the main campus. This contrast is achieved through the use of lighter materials such as metal and glass to the ‘pavilion’ at the upper levels, and heavier materiality such as render to the ‘plinth’ at the lower levels and articulated roof treatment.
The classrooms within each syndicate floor are organised in pairs with large inter-connecting sliding doors to facilitate collaborative learning. Classrooms have generous glazed frontages and sliding doors that open to the informal breakout spaces and learning commons. These informal learning spaces are located in the heart of each syndicate floor plan wrapping around the central atria. A large feature social stair sits at the base of the naturally lit atria – a place for presentations, syndicate group gatherings, group or individual study. These classrooms and informal learning spaces offer a high level of technical infrastructure to support the pedagogy of Saint Kentigern.
Central to a good campus experience is creating defined pedestrian connections both within and around buildings. At the upper level, connections are provided to the new covered walkway and upper field recreation area. The walkway provides a sheltered route between the building to the new student entry at Gate 3 and onwards to the main campus.