Wellington East Girls’ College has educated young women since the 1920’s.
Originally built in 1924 as the first building on campus, the Main Block was identified as meeting only 17% of New Building Standard (NBS) in 2011 and remained vacant since. It required a significant redevelopment to bring it up to 100% NBS of the structural code and a full master plan was developed to incorporate the most up-to-date ideas on teaching and learning environments based around Modern Learning or New Generation Learning styles.
In 2014 WSP came on board to drive the existing redevelopment project to completion. Key to the project has been the retention of the three-storey unreinforced masonry Category 1 Heritage-listed façade and entry vestibule of the original Main Block building. These are integrated seamlessly into new Main Block to provide tangible links to the school’s heritage, together with 21st century educational spaces that support continued growth and success of the school.
The main ambition of this project was to shift the school from an Edwardian, segregated model of education that is highly internal and inaccessible to many, to one that is open, vibrant, and alive.
A key motivator in the Master planning of the school was ILE (Innovative Learning Environment) design. The new facilities provide excellent ILE opportunities with a balance of expansive and flexible open-plan areas, smaller break-out and study settings, along with tailored specialist teaching spaces.
The project consolidated the school around the new main entrance and quad, or the ‘heart’ of the school, providing key vertical circulation between the many floors and creating a vibrant, active space where people can connect.
The topography of the school greatly influenced the design. From its lowest point to its highest, there is ten stories difference. The final solution created a school that is inter-connected at every level.
During the build, Naylor Love Construction and WSP overcame these significant challenges continuing to manage staging and site infrastructure to ensure the operation of the school was safe and workable throughout all stages.
The project has resulted in a remarkable rejuvenation of the school buildings and site and these now reflect the vibrant school culture, which celebrates educational excellence and cultural diversity, takes pride in its heritage and provides innovation and a forward-focus in its teaching.