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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

Tarawera High School in Kawerau, New Zealand by RTA Studio

November 6th, 2017 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: RTA Studio


Tarawera High School is situated between River Road and the Tarawera River in the small mill town of Kawerau.

The design reflects Kawerau’s unique culture, history and landscape. The masterplan proposes a solution that inspires learning & pro-motes the fulfilment of potential in Kawerau’s rangatahi (younger generation / youth).

Image Courtesy © RTA Studio

  • Architects: RTA Studio
  • Project: Tarawera High School
  • Location: Kawerau, New Zealand

Image Courtesy © RTA Studio

Through a collaborative process that involved extensive school and community engagement, the masterplan proposes a school that puts community and cultural facilities at its heart.

Typically with 90 pupils per classrooms in open plan learning spaces, an advanced innovative learning environment includes a variety of well-connected spaces through the use of new building materials and technologies. It allows for a variety of teaching pedagogical prac-tice, and specialist teaching spaces with technology and equipment suitable for a multitude of subjects and disciplines and provides spaces which can be utilised by both the school and the community alike.

Image Courtesy © RTA Studio

Image Courtesy © RTA Studio

The new buildings are planned and orientated along critical ley lines which are significant to the local community. The central plan which consists of a multipurpose Wharenui (the heart) faces directly north to where the Tarawera River meets the coast. Communal facilities include the Wharenui, Performing Arts Centre, and Hospitality Suite along with the School Reception and are placed around an open courtyard which is accessed directly via the school’s main entrance. Aligned on this entrance is the ley line from the local culturally significant mountain – Putauaki which forms a back drop to the school upon arrival. This axis also aligns to the north-west towards Maketu – an important historic landmark – which forms a street between the senior and middle school Learning Houses.

Image Courtesy © RTA Studio

Image Courtesy © RTA Studio

The traditional style of teaching has been replaced with new modern facilities, which transposes complexity for simplicity in both func-tion and architecture, allowing a new generation to be propelled into the future.

Image Courtesy © RTA Studio

Image Courtesy © RTA Studio

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Category: School

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