Designed by Designgroup Stapleton Elliott, Aotea College’s new campus caters for a growing roll and the school’s adoption of an Innovative Learning Environment. The 9000m² building contains four vertically integrated houses, specialist learning facilities, a library and administration offices. A central ‘learning street’ organises the floor plan, serving as the main access route around the school as well as a social, collaborative learning space in its own right.
One of the challenges for an open and transparent environment such as this — which can have 60 students in a classroom at any one time — is the acoustics. Carpet tiles were therefore key in managing noise, with City Square providing 27dB in sound reduction.
"We chose the carpet for its robustness and its acoustic qualities," says Project Architect, Mike Evans. "The outcome is a general hum, a nice white noise, which the school is very happy with. Good acoustic control by the carpet and ceiling tiles meant that we could maintain large areas of glazing internally and externally for light and outlook."
In addition to these practical benefits, City Square also has an extensive, vibrant colour range, used creatively by the architects to symbolise the four houses. Korimako house is signalled by bright green, Kōtuku by silvery grey, Kererū by forest green, and Pūkeko by purple. Common spaces feature all colours in a randomised pattern, while each house neighbourhood is a vivid environment created by tall painted precast walls and geometric representations of feathers in carpet patterns across the floor.
"The carpet colours gave us a lot of scope to create spatial identities," says Mike. "The base colours of blue and grey run through the whole school, but as you move between neighbourhoods, house colours blend and overlap to form and also blend spaces."
City Square carpet tiles have played a key role in activating the colour story at Aotea College to provide an engaging and connected experience for students and staff alike.
Part of the TECSOM Carpet Tile range, City Square carpet tiles are a solution-dyed, 100 per cent polyamide. With a high tuft density, they are a high-wear and high-performance commercial carpet tile. Tile size is 50 x 50 cm.
Project: Aotea College
Architects: Designgroup Stapleton Elliott
Product: City Square
Photographer: Jason Mann