Outline Design 2 Saint Kentigern's Girls School

  • Pou Auaha / Creative Director
    Victoria Wilkes
  • Client
    Saint Kentigern Girl's School

St Kentigern’s new addition to the school’s campus on Shore Road in Auckland included the delivery of the new purpose-built building for St Kentigern Girls School.

Being built alongside the new specialist facility at the boys’ school, the synergy between the two interior fitouts was extremely important, but importantly acknowledging a unique environment for girls.

The scope of the interior design and delivery included: interiors finishes for all hard and soft fitout elements, furniture and fittings, feature lighting and graphics. The building required a considered design approach to create an optimal learning and teaching environment that achieves connection, engagement and functionality.

The interior design set-out to achieve this through: Connecting the interior space to the school’s Scottish Heritage by implementing house colours into the finishes palette. Creating an engaging learning environment by implementing biophilic design through design selections. Considering functionality with each space through optimal space planning, flexible furniture and acoustic solutions.

Integrating the house colours in the finishes palette grounded the space in the school's traditions while connecting with the specific learning needs of young women at different maturity levels. For the young students in their formative years, yellow is used on their floor to provide a creative and inviting space. As the girls grow and mature, teal was selected on level three, which created a sophisticated and tranquil space. The top floor incorporates purple tones, creating a sense of maturity and wisdom as the girls complete their primary schooling. Integrating softer elements and curves in the interior creates vibrant feminine energy throughout the building. The spaces are perfectly balanced with a level of sophistication while having a sense of playfulness.

Biophilia was a critical influence on the design, connections to nature and the symbolism of these connections have consistently been proven to lower stress and increase performance. This allowed the girls to enter into the space in a ready-to-learn mindset. Soft furnishings and finishes were all selected based on their ability to enhance the biophilic design direction and empowerment of the young girls. The feature lighting pieces in the foyer are stunning pieces that connect to natural elements. Ceiling, flooring and wall finishes were selected for acoustic properties and as a grounding for the biophilic narrative.

The furniture selected was chosen to be adaptable and flexible increasing the usability of the new spaces and the engagement between students and staff. Soft seating, wall finishes and lighting were also chosen based on their ability to absorb sound allowing open learning spaces to be used effectively for collaboration.

This design successfully answered the brief to create a nurturing environment that fosters these young girls' education experience.

St Kentigern’s Girls school has established a new standard in education space that connects, engages and works for the staff and students.

The design approach establishes a distinguishable Saint Kentigern presence and a unique identity for the Girls' School.