Parakai School Redevelopment

Parakai School Redevelopment

Parakai School faced spatial challenges for years, resorting to makeshift spaces in a dated, leaky classrooms and hall. Tasked with revitalizing their environment, our brief was clear: a multipurpose, bright, and elegant hall that worked alongside the new classroom block to connect the school. The school requested that the new classroom block was designed to incorporate building energy-efficiency, different student age-ranges, and inclusivity.

Though the brief was succinct, the weight of responsibility to uplift and empower Parakai School was immense. Through many design sessions and workshops, we delved beyond functionality, focusing on building performance and aesthetics – as desired by the school. We paid extra attention to the outdoor spaces created where the interplay of the new dual blocks met existing buildings. We tested several opening sizes and orientations to frame purposeful views and mitigate shadows. Care was taken to balance room sizes to function while maintaining an eclectic feel to the learning spaces overall. These efforts laid a robust foundation for crafting well-defined interior spaces throughout the new buildings.

Acoustic performance guided our selection of finishes, meticulously aligned with the specific teaching activities in both buildings. Every finish specified throughout the project had low maintenance and multifunctionality as a primary evaluation criteria. The choice of material colours and textures was informed by their harmonious interaction under changing light conditions, ensuring a visually pleasing environment year-round.

 ‘It feels like walking through a collectively designed township, whichever way you look there is a new view with different proportions, light, & scale. It’s so playful!’ Teaching Staff

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