Wellington Girls College Pipitea Block

Wellington Girls College Pipitea Block

Architect
Designgroup Stapleton Elliott
Location
New Zealand
Category
Secondary Schools

Wellington Girls College Pipitea Block

Designgroup Stapleton Elliott as Architects

Brief


The purpose of the development was to replace 10 old prefabricated classrooms no longer fit for purpose with flexible teaching spaces based on 21st century school design. In addition there was a requirement to create a more obvious front entrance and identity to the school and to create a 'social heart' where students and teachers could mingle.


Site Context


WGC occupies a significant corner block in Thorndon bounded by Murphy Street and Pipitea Street. The principle Tower Block building and attached school hall front onto Pipitea Street and provided for many years the front door to the school. Over the years the school has expanded to fulfil its needs within its finite site with the addition of prefabs and new buildings. The legibility of the original site layout and entrance have consequently been compromised by this expansion and also with new neighbouring developments in Pipitea Street.


Design Solution


Form A new 4 storey building connects Tower Block and Brook Block in a curving form that addresses the acute angle between the two blocks. The convex facade to Murphy Street creates a civic edge that together with the adjoining Brook Block defines a campus forecourt on the Pipitea/Murphy Street corner.


Entrance The building is elevated to create the new entrance to the school that is seen and accessed from Murphy Street.


Campus Heart The entrance opens to a' Learning Street' and atrium that provide a welcoming space for students and visitors. The atrium opens vertically to the new upper level learning spaces and glass clad bridges connect the new building to the Tower Block and link with the rest of the campus


Flexible Learning Spaces Three classroom levels comprising 6 Student Learning Studios make up the upper teaching spaces. Tutorial, research, meeting and laboratory spaces open off each learning studio to create the new learning environment.

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