Clearview Primary School

The School incorporates single storey buildings & landscaping to blend in with its surroundings


  • Christchurch, New Zealand


  • Ministry of Education

Project Status

  • Completed 2010


  • 2010 NZIA Canterbury Branch Award – Public Architecture
  • 2010 Resene Colour Award 

With a rapidly growing community, this school development provides for a roll of 400 students and is the first of a two-stage masterplan.

In the heart of Rolleston this school meets the needs of a rapidly expanding township on the outskirts of Christchurch. Five single storey buildings, complimenting the low density residential context, enclose a sheltered central heart to the school.

Low pitched, angular roofs provide visual links to the rural and burgeoning semi-industrial Rolleston vernacular. Industrial like steel structure framing articulates and identifies entry spaces, supporting roofs, which hover as large verandas providing shelter and shade.

Materials were chosen to provide a fun, low maintenance primary school environment that links with the context of the local community.  Colour provides exuberance and identity, complimenting the natural material palette. An “internal street” in the heart of each classroom block links the “homebases”, providing a transparent, flexible and collaborative learning environment. A grass raised amphitheatre, play equipment, paved ball courts and seating areas are incorporated within the landscape masterplan.

The second stage allows for a further 9 classrooms to be added within the overall site layout as the roll increases, space has also been allowed for around the hall and library for future extensions.

This is a fresh reinterpretation of a Canterbury Plains School. It caters for years 1-8 with masterplanning for future expansion as the new town grows around it. It consists of a cluster of school buildings, sheltered outdoor courtyards and tree lined walkways flowing around the site that link the buildings with the fields. Strong low-pitched roof forms with generous overhangs, carefully placed glazing and cross-ventilation all reinforce the sustainability and energy efficiency of the complex.
NZIA Panel 2010