Already well known for their work in the apartment and aged care sectors, Hamilton Architectural Metals specialists Spectrum Aluminium have been making significant headway in the rapidly evolving education sector. With a number of builds recently completed in the Auckland region, Spectrum have been working closely with architects and construction companies to deliver some challenging, but very rewarding projects.
“The face of education is changing,” says Greg Gibb, Marketing Manager for Spectrum. “Gone are the days of boring grey siloed boxes, now replaced with holistic designs that draw on the heritage of the people, the students, and their immediate neighbourhoods. Schools have become places children want to attend, and being a part of delivering that kind of success is something all of us at Spectrum are very proud of.”
Working with a number of different architects and construction companies, Spectrum is helping to deliver solutions from classic to contemporary, but all with a common thread — bold colours and exciting textures.
Fin style balustrades feature prominently in many builds, their open style providing a less impeded sight line that delivers the necessary safety from falling protection without compromising the architectural aesthetic and intent of the architect.
Northcote’s Onepoto School is a great example of how a humble baluster can become a significant architectural element. Fin style balusters extend to the bottom of the deck structure and seamlessly connect to the stairwell to provide a barrier that is almost reminiscent of traditional Pa fencing, whilst multi-coloured balusters with an asymmetric arch on top and bottom line both sides of a bridge at the rear of the building. Designed by Ministry of Architecture + Interiors and delivered by Watts and Hughes this is project that is definitely worth a closer look.
Drive 45 minutes south of Onepoto School and you may well find yourself mesmerised by the stunning design, textures, and colours of Mangapikopiko Primary School. The main building is well protected from the elements with colourful horizontal louvres that provide shade and privacy as well as creating playful shadows when the sun is low in the sky. Vertical fins line the decks and stairwells complementing the strong horizontal lines of the louvres. Viewed from inside or out, this school has been beautifully designed and the sounds and smiling faces of the students are clearly testimony of a project well received. Another successful delivery from Watts and Hughes and the talented team at Jasmax.
Returning to the North Shore, Hauraki School utilised a more traditional approach to balustrade that was in keeping with many of the suburb's older and classically designed homes. Spectrum’s Heritage balustrade, which incorporates an integrated handrail, spans all the upper decks and the stairwells which also include attached offset handrails.
Schools should be fun and engaging, and it is pleasing to see so many architectural practices embracing a design philosophy that includes this as a significant factor in their design. Whether your safety from falling or architectural design elements are contemporary or classic, Spectrum Aluminium probably already has a solution ready and waiting for you.