Onehunga High School Site Visit
01 Nov 2023
The event started at 5pm in the teaching block’s main circulation space where guests were welcomed with drinks and canapes catered by the Y13 school pupils. The food-tech area was articulated with large windows viewed from the entrance foyer where we gathered, witnessing the hustle and bustle of the kitchen environment. The room was filled with an assortment of different finger foods which were prepared and presented by the students as they moved through the circulation space. Upon interacting with the teachers, it was apparent that this formed part of their Y13 curriculum that the students enjoyed. The foyer space became the heart of the building allowing for cross-curricular engagement between multiple teaching spaces connecting them.
Guests were then invited to the double-volumed Gymnasium for a presentation by the Project Architect, Leandri Hay from Ignite Architects, along with the school’s Associate Principal Gareth Leadbeater. As guests watched the presentation from the bleachers, they got a sense of place as they overlooked the large state-of-the-art basketball court, which was lined with markings for five different types of sports. The gymnasium’s South facade overlooked the sports fields that was clad with Danpalon material, which emitted translucent light through the grandiose space.
As the presentation ended, a walking tour was commenced and split between Liandri and Gareth. There was a total of 21 new teaching spaces, which included the food technology, hard material workshops, art, creative makers spaces, flexible learning, and outdoor learning spaces.
The event concluded on a high note, as guests returned to the main circulation space and were treated to mini deserts also prepared by the students, while they scrubbed up the food-tech area in a spotless condition. The food-tech teacher gave more insight into the pedagogy, and highlighted the interest that student have exhibited, during the array of events that the school has hosted since the building opening. This provided the students with the hands-on experience needed for real world jobs.
“This complex project has transformed the campus. The school’s active involvement in the development and enthusiasm of their pedagogy has allowed us to design spaces that truly resonate with students.” – Leandri Hay.
Article by: Yvette Loubser
Photographer: P Morrison
Architect: Ignite Architects