Steel & Tube is proud to be a supplier to the award-winning Freeman’s Bay School redesign by RTA Architects. Using bold colours, including Steel & Tube roofing and cladding, the architects were able to achieve a striking design that references the school’s proud multi-cultural heritage and complements the diversity of the neighbourhood.
The redevelopment needed to accommodate the school’s increasing roll as well as address issues with dilapidation, weather tightness and poor ground conditions. The brief was to use low maintenance materials to reduce the required maintenance expenditure and to extend the economic life of the building. In addition, the project focus was on using sustainable materials and recycling all waste.
RTA Studio chose Steel & Tube ST900 in Colorsteel for both roofing and cladding options. Colorsteel has a high strength to weight ratio, which assisted with the poor ground conditions. With a wide 900mm span and a robust trapezoidal form, ST900 is ideal for a school as it will easily resist damage from playground activities.
Entering the school is reminiscent of a marae entrance with a bold open canopy linking the community facing buildings with the street. ST900 cladding in the bright and cheerful Colorsteel Kowhai Glow is used at the entrance and complements the angled and vibrant elevation. It is intended to reflect the diverse cultural aspects of the community and create a welcoming gateway. The use of this coloured cladding continues throughout the school, creating a link for visitors, staff and students.
Other linking colours are white and black, as seen in the use of ST900 cladding in Colorsteel Flaxpod in other buildings. The bold trapezoidal design and solid, rustic colour of Colorsteel Flaxpod creates a foil for the vibrant panels that challenge the traditional monochrome box structures of school design.
Moshin Mussa from RTA Studio comments, “It is always challenging on Ministry of Education projects to create cutting-edge architecture with limited budgets and material restrictions. On this project, we used the colour scheme to represent the school's identity, but also to enhance the architecture. Colour is a relatively cost-effective way to bring a project to life.”