Herriot Melhuish O’Neill Architects - Wellington, Christchurch, Auckland

St Bede's College, Wearmouth Boarding Accommodation

Christchurch

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New boarding accommodation for Year 13 boys at this prestigious Christchurch school, informed by the general master planning we undertook as College Architects. A sense of community has been reinforced by relocating all boarding facilities together. The new entrance has created an internal recess and entry court, dividing stacked accommodation and bathrooms on one side, and more interactive spaces on the other. These include the Boarding Master’s office and a generous Common Room with sliding doors to outdoor decking.

Awards: NZIA Canterbury Architecture Award 2011.

The material palette is restrained and robust—reflecting both budget expectations and the sometimes over energetic nature of the occupants. External forms are simply modelled with a wrap of dark-oiled plywood cladding belying the two storey scale of the bedroom wing, and reinforcing a residential character. A combination of clear sealed compressed sheet, rubber flooring, and natural timber creates a simple and serviceable backdrop to the busy interior activity.

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