Re­vamp builds kids’ pride

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS -

The ar­chi­tects of Porirua Col­lege’s $18.5 mil­lion rede­vel­op­ment have been recog­nised by their peers with a pres­ti­gious award.

The awards jury for the New Zealand In­sti­tute of Ar­chi­tects’ Welling­ton Ar­chi­tec­ture Awards se­ries noted that Opus Ar­chi­tec­ture has pro­vided Porirua Col­lege with ‘‘ef­fec­tive, airy and light­filled spa­ces that have played a sig­nif­i­cant role in trans­form­ing at­ten­dance and learn­ing out­comes’’.

School prin­ci­pal Su­sanne Jungersen was present with Opus rep­re­sen­ta­tives on Oc­to­ber 31 to ac­cept the award and she ac­knowl­edged the suc­cess of cre­at­ing a ‘‘21st cen­tury mod­ern learn­ing en­vi­ron­ment’’.

The rede­vel­op­ment be­gan in 2007 and was only re­cently com­pleted.

Prin­ci­pal ar­chi­tect Bruce Cur­tain said it was al­ways more than a ‘‘bricks and mor­tar’’ up­grade, with board of trus­tees, staff, par- ents and students in­volved.

‘‘We’re de­lighted with the award for Porirua Col­lege – both as recog­ni­tion for de­sign ex­cel­lence but also as an en­dorse­ment of the fan­tas­tic new learn­ing en­vi­ron­ment en­joyed by both the staff and students.

‘‘The students them­selves have com­mented ‘I might do bet­ter, it’s a bet­ter school now’ [and] it is that re­newed sense of pride in their school and for ed­u­ca­tion achieve­ment that will prove to be the real legacy for this rede­vel­op­ment.’’

The first stage of the project was a re­fur­bish­ment of an ex­ist­ing block. Stage two con­sisted of new ‘‘houses’’: learn­ing stu­dios, sem­i­nar spa­ces and staff work ar­eas. The fi­nal phase in­cluded the re­fur­bish­ment of the mu­sic, per­form­ing arts and tech­nol­ogy blocks.

A Maori and Pasi­fika theme is present throughout, with weav­ing pat­terns on the walls and floors and stu­dent de­signs in­cor­po­rated into acous­tic wall pan­els. The glass walls are hav­ing a pos­i­tive be­havioural ef­fect on students, Mr Cur­tain said.

Other lo­cal de­signs to win awards were the BRANZ rede­vel­op­ment in Judge­ford (War­ren and Mahoney Ar­chi­tects) and Robin­son House in Plim­mer­ton (No­vak + Mid­dle­ton Ar­chi­tects).

Photo: PAUL MCCREDIE.

Award-win­ning: Opus Ar­chi­tec­ture’s rede­vel­op­ment of Porirua Col­lege has been cel­e­brated with an award, pre­sented fol­low­ing a peer-re­view process.

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