2019 Auckland Architecture Awards Winner
Freeman's Bay School
Walking round Freeman’s Bay School, an inner-city primary school with a heavily mixed population, you can’t help wonder why so many other schools have to settle for so much less. The use of colour is lively and inviting, the large modular “classrooms” offer so many teaching possibilities, and everywhere you look there are spaces, shapes and surfaces designed to brighten the children’s day, stimulate their learning, in both formal and informal ways, and keep them safe. Everything, from the large communal staircase/amphitheatre to the tables that function as whiteboards, celebrates creative thinking. And yet, although the overall feeling is of heightened enthusiasm, acoustic calming has been achieved through careful use of materials and the provision of many areas for quietness and contemplation. In a complex of buildings were nothing is quite like anything else, the remarkable result achieved by RTA Studio is not chaos but a coherent, captivating whole.