Western Springs College Ngā Puna O Waiōrea Redevelopment

New Zealand’s largest ever public school rebuild - this project completely redefines the school's approach to teaching and learning. No longer an aggregation of small scale, single storey blocks, the new Western Springs College Ngā Puna O Waiōrea is a now a vertical campus where 80% of teaching and learning activities all happen under one roof.


Project Details

Client Ministry of Education
Sector Schools
Location Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland
Discipline Architecture, Interior Design
Status Completed 2019
Size 10,390 sqm
Design Collaborators Sunnah Thompson, Graham Tipene

Leading the Way in Integrated Learning Environments

Western Springs College Ngā Puna O Waiōrea is the first NZ high school of its scale to shift into an open plan, flexible educational environment. 

The school is designed to encourage new methods of individual and group-based learning. With screens, whiteboards and furniture all mobile, learning spaces of different size or arrangements can be configured as needed.

The Main Block is three storeys high with learning spaces arranged around a large, full height atrium which creates visible connections across and between all levels. The atrium is criss-crossed by staircases that keep transitions between activities and locations flowing efficiently.

Design Identity

Jasmax identified a wide range of opportunities for telling cultural stories around the new Western Springs Campus. Stakeholder aspirations were developed around shared themes that embraced stories of place, including the history of Meola Reef and Western Springs, the basalt lava flow and quarrying, the tuna (eels) endemic to the Springs, and the imperative for regeneration and guardianship of the ecology of inner city communities.

Jasmax put together an ‘Artist Engagement’ plan early in the project which provided a framework for the School to engage carvers/ artists for the project.

As a result of this, we were able to work with artist Sunnah Thompson to develop carvings for the Waharoa, Pou and Pare. Jasmax also worked closely with artist Graham Tipene to develop details with cultural relevance to the site for architectural elements including precast panel details and paving patterns.



2020 NZIA National Awards - Ted McCoy Award for Education
2020 NZIA Local Awards - Education
2020 PCNZ Awards - Greenstone Group Educational Property Award - Merit