Project Description

  • Location: Epsom, Auckland
  • Architects: Ross Langley Architects (now van Veenendaal, Rosnell, Langley)
  • Structural Engineers: Buller George Turkington
  • Building Contractor: Argon Construction Co.

Having used precast concrete on numerous other commercial and industrial projects the architects elected to use precast concrete as the principal cladding for the Centennial development to be able to provide a building appropriate to the traditions and qualities of Diocesan School.

It was clear from previous work already completed at the school, also a precast concrete building (the junior school) and from other buildings on site, that Diocesan would not be receptive to a building outside the established style, or to using some of the lighter weight cladding systems currently on offer. By careful consideration of panel size, joint location and the use of both horizontal and vertical rebates a virtually seamless building has been provided.

The use of the precast elements has also enabled modelling of the façade, creating deep recesses to the windows and the doors, and to provide cornices, projections and other details which provide an interesting pattern of shadows during the day, as the building follows the curve of the tree line.

The precast decorative columns to the perimeter extended through two levels and weighed up to 12 tonne each. They were capped off with curved precast feature beams up to 1500mm in depth. As the beams and columns included three-dimensional architectural features the detailed design, construction and placing of these components was absolutely critical in order to achieve the architect’s final details.

The success of this major stage of the project was attributable to the attention to detail achieved by Wilco Precast, the engineers, architects and the construction team at Argon in putting together a high quality precast concrete structure. This was a working site with little construction space, requiring a high level of tolerance by all parties and the result is a credit to all concerned.