Te Kura o Kimi Ora

Te Kura o Kimi Ora is a well established school in the suburb of Flaxmere in Hastings. Flaxmere has a diversity of cultures, particularly prevalent with Māori and Pacifica students. The aging school designed in the late 1960’s was cell-based classrooms and had deteriorated with moisture and mould deeming several buildings unfit for use.
DCA Architects were engaged for full delivery by the Ministry of Education. This started with workshops with the community, teachers, and students to develop new pedagogical strategies. This involved a session with educationalist Mark Osbourne.

Our masterplan had to take into account maintaining a fully operational school, while undertaking the new buildings and demolition. The design needed to support the demographics, cultures, and social challenges of the community. Some of these basic needs were the ability for students to learn with a full stomach. The importance of learning healthy eating habits was to be a central part of the curriculum and cultures. Food preparation areas are throughout the learning hub. Students are hands on everyday assisting volunteers to prepare breakfasts and lunches for students. A large community garden is located alongside the learning hub where students learn planting and harvesting of food. Learning these basic skills was considered an important aspect of self-sufficiency.

The Māori and Pacifica population are natural outdoor learners and there was a degree of importance on creating flowing indoor-outdoor learning spaces. One of the features is a Fale structure, a roofed structure, open sided over a raised deck to be used in the summer months for eating, performance and general learning. It was also considered an important “Give back” to the local community to be able to access the Fale and use it for family gatherings and barbeques.


Project Details

Status: Completed 2022

Client: Ministry of Education

Size: 1400 sq.m

Cost: $7M