Creating a vertically layered school in the heart of the CBD will allow Ao Tawhiti Unlimited Discovery School to once again be a school where learning is integrated into the entire city.
Ao Tawhiti Discovery School, (Ao Tawhiti), formed through the merger of Discovery One and Unlimited Paenga Tawhiti, has been operating from two sites outside the city centre while awaitng its new home in the heart of Christchurch’s CBD at 177-185 St Asaph Street.
Ao Tawhiti’s model for learning places the student at the centre. The vision for a unique vertically layered school in the heart of the CBD, is comprised of stacked learning communities that span from years 1 to 13 and the School is connected vertically and horizontally across all four levels providing 5,800m2 of accommodation for students.
At the heart of the school is a central atrium, and the school will feature a range of flexible learning spaces and more specialised areas, a virtual conference room, music and recording studios, a digital design workshop, a café and performance space. The School will have the capacity to accommodate 670 students.
The project team that has come together to deliver Ao Tawhiti’s vision includes The Building Intelligence Group as project managers, Stephenson & Turner Architects, Lewis Bradford, Aurecon, Tokin & Taylor, Beca and Aecom. The Building Intelligence Group is managing the delivery of all project outputs, from Master Planning through to completion of design, contractor procurement, cost control, programme, risk management, construction management and stakeholder co-ordination.
The School community welcomed the sod turning ceremony on 6 April 2017 where former Education Minister Nikki Kaye commented “Today is a big day for education in Christchurch and the revitalisation of the city’s CBD. The $30M investment will result in an amazing physical environment which reflects Ao Tawhiti Unlimited Discovery’s unique approach to learning as a special character school.”
Construction works commenced on site in October. Ao Tawhiti will open to welcome its students in the first quarter of 2019.