James Hargest Junior Campus Technology Centre

The Junior campus technology centre provides facilities for the technology curriculum for year 7 and 8 pupils. The Junior campus originates from an old intermediate school overtaken by the rationalisation of schools in the Invercargill area. The school’s administration was taken over by James Hargest College. For the future of the school the school authorities were keen that it was seen to have the best practical facilities. For this reason the siting of the technology centre on the corner of Layard Street and Queens Drive, a busy boulevard, was agreed as the ideal location. The eventual structure is composed of two wings linking at the corner of Layard Street and Queens Drive. One wing is brick clad and notionally ‘domestic’ containing the art and food areas. This continues the brick theme of the existing school buildings and with landscaping gives a soft domestic edge to Queen’s Drive in keeping with the locality.
The other is ‘technical’ containing resistant materials, science and eventually media studies. Here a different theme is developed, designed to reflect the hard materials and science activity within.  The cladding here is dark colour coated steel with roof and walls creating a wrap. Clustered here are heat pumps and dust extraction shielded behind an iconic wall.
At the apex of the ‘v’ is a glazed ‘hinge’ which houses the fabrics and electronics workshop. The hinge terminates at the iconic wall, a signposting structure. The concept of the ‘ionic’ wall takes account of the critical view given by the corner location alongside the busy Queens Drive. It was conceived as a vehicle for the school logo that could be made plainly visible from the Drive. It includes a cut out shape that is deliberately, symbolically and culturally ambiguous. While not belonging to one culture, its actual curve is the golden spiral which is based on the Fibonacci sequence. This simple shape denotes western learning on one hand but again it might be interpreted as the Maori derived foetal bird mouth representing the child or the naturalistic koru of the awakening fern frond. The cross cultural connotations are about development, learning and knowledge. The ‘v’ shaped wings enclose a covered, naturally ventilated internal courtyard that provides for free circulation between rooms. Practically, the complex addresses a school quad as its front entrance. As part of the school development the quad is to be landscaped with the entrance of the technology complex in mind.
It is the critical feature of the planning and design. Essentially there was no budget for this feature but the school were very keen to have it. It therefore needed to be delivered at low cost but would not compromise on achieving performance acoustics, ventilation or  condensation prevention. Although a Spartan place at present the intention is that it be a 3 dimensional canvas, a vehicle for school expression and development. The canopy is composed of translucent twin skin Alsynite cladding. This unique twin skin roofing system provides some thermal insulation, light and shelter to the courtyard and is designed to provide an opalescent glow externally, when lit, giving a dramatic night time effect. Good internal acoustic performance is achieved by the configuration of internal surface planes and some use of perforated corrugate. The distinctive lines of MEGA 5 make a strong visual impression when used as a low level roof and wall cladding. 

Noise transfer of rain is minimized by the use of the twin skin which also prevents the development of condensation on the internal surfaces. The canopy provides a well lit internal, useful and unique facility for the school as a place for displays, shelter in inclement weather and special large group activities.

Architects Sinclair Knight

Architect Rob Ansell led the design team for James Hargest College working closely with Project Manager Ian Sutherland. Sinclair Knight Merz is a multi disciplinary consultant group represented with branches throughout New Zealand.
Rob heads SKM's New Zealand architectural design group which operates from Sinclair Knight Merz Wellington Office while Ian undertakes project management from the SKM office in Invercargill.  Building services, lighting, fire and structural design for the project were all undertaken by SKM personnel.

SKM Architectural Team responsible for the Design
o Rob Ansell
o Enda McKiernan
o Cushla Dowman
o Engineering Disciplines all in-house
o Project Manager Ian Sutherland

James Hargest College.

Architect: Rob Ansell,
Sinclair Knight Merz.                                                                                                     
Telephone: (04) 914 8429

Project Manager: Ian Sutherland,
Sinclair Knight Merz.                                                                                                     Telephone: (03) 218 7102

Main Contractor:
Cunningham Building and Construction Ltd.
Telephone: (03) 214 1669

Roofing & Cladding Manufacturer:
Calder Stewart Roofing.
Telephone: 0800 115 232
Profile: MEGA 5
Colour: Metallic Gunmetal ZRX™ .