St Peter’s College Sports Complex
Roman Catholic Bishop of Auckland
The sports complex brief called for a space which can accommodate basketball, volleyball and badminton courts to club standard, with necessary ancillary facilities as well as two classrooms. St Peter’s is an inner city school constrained for land and the area available for the building was separated from the rest of the school by an 11 metre high cliff, encircled by a railway and a busy arterial road.
The building responds to the challenges offered by the site. The hall is conceptually an open-ended vault. Solid concrete walls are used as the flanks of the building, providing acoustic protection from the adjacent road and supported laterally by pre-cast buttresses at regular intervals. Spanning between the walls is a series of trusses supporting the roof of the hall. The east and west ends of the gym are as transparent as possible.
A connection was created from the road, through the building, with the hall on one side and the ancillary spaces on the other, across a bridge and up the cliff to connect to the main school. The remainder of the site has been converted to artificial training turf and acts as a counterpoint to the mass of the hall.
The new building forms an impressive presence on Khyber Pass, the adjacent arterial road. The upper precast walls are exposed basalt aggregate, reflecting the underlying volcanic rock of the site and carry the school’s motto “to love and to serve” in large stainless steel letters, while the lower half is covered in a stretched tensile steel mesh covered in climbing plants forming a green wall with glazed openings or portholes allowing views into the hall.
NZIA Auckland Architecture Award – Education 2012