Takapuna Grammar School’s Main Block is not only a Category A heritage building, but a landmark held dear by the school and wider community.

Respond were commissioned to remediate and restore this striking brick building, with the purpose of solving its weathertightness, durability and structural issues while maintaining and upholding its heritage aspects.

An extremely complex project both from a design and structural perspective, major remedial works were required to rectify the issues. At the same time the Main Block has undergone a major internal refurbishment which includes reconfiguration of internal layouts to form new ILEs (Innovative Learning Environments). The project includes a full re-design and interior design of the internal teaching and administration spaces.

The block previously had a traditional layout, with classrooms opening off a corridor. The brief was to create a more open plan layout with opportunities for break out space for both small and large groups, with the potential to open up teaching spaces to form larger spaces for exams, lectures and group activities. Corridors were absorbed into the learning area to create informal breakout seating and work bench areas. A combination of operable walls and glazed partitions and screens allow spaces to be used separately while still providing line-of sight connections between teachers and students.

Lighting design has been maximised to minimise energy costs going forward and sustainable materials such as carpet tiles and insulation partially made from recyclable materials were specified. The building has been re-designed as a largely naturally ventilated building, utilising solar control glass, opening windows with cross ventilation and passive relief ducting to limit energy costs in cooling. Heating will continue to be provided by the existing boiler system which has been upgraded to improve efficiency.

In addition, the School Hall has been structurally strengthened, internally refurbished, and redeveloped to open up to a new tiered exterior landscaped area in the heart of the school.

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