Macleans College

Macleans College

Macleans College is the leading co-educational state school in New Zealand. Established in 1980 the school has grown significantly over its 40 year history. With a current roll of 2500 students, the school is amongst the largest colleges in Auckland.

The brief

In 2017 Pacific Environments were engaged to develop new Technology, Science, Graphics classrooms as well as additional toilet facilities, the latest in a series of improvements to Macleans built environment that have taken place over the last decade. With a such a large roll, ensuring that the learning environments and timetables were not disrupted by construction was an essential but challenging task. Temporary classrooms are not financially feasible for specialist departments like science and technology, meaning the staging of the construction needed to be managed strategically.

We worked closely with the school and their user groups to develop a 4 stage plan, which would allow the school to operate at full capacity with minimal disruption to students. The project stages began with the technology building (now completed), and will continue onto the Science, Graphics and additional toilet facilities. Each department have their own specific pedagogies, meaning that each class environment is a tailored design solution.

The Master planning phase also needed to consider the pedestrian flow within the campus. 2,500 students moving between classes at one point in time is something that needs a high level of spatial planning. The space between each building will eventually have the ability to be linked to create additional outdoor learning spaces.


The completed Technology classroom block provides a safer and more environmentally considerate environment for students. The building has incorporated new and existing tools and machinery within a stylish and robust space. The contemporary, industrial aesthetic is complimented by a limited colour palette and wall surfaces of durable, blonded ply. The building harvests rainwater and ties into the schools existing efficient wood pellet boiler heating system.

The classrooms are naturally ventilated, with carefully considered acoustic treatments to reduce noise. A new dust extractor significantly reduces dust, to create a healthier and more comfortable learning environment for students and teaching staff alike.

  • Date
  • Tags Education, Interior Design, Master Planning

Related Projects