New gymnasium makes a statement

New gymnasium makes a statement
ACG Tauranga’s new state-of-the-art gymnasium complex.

A team approach to the new ACG Tauranga gymnasium project has seen it win several awards. Project architect and associate Charlotte Saunders from Babbage Consultants was awarded the 2018 NZ Institute of Architect’s prize for Best Education Building at the Waikato-Bay of Plenty Architecture Awards and the project also won a silver award in the New Zealand Commercial Project Awards.
“The teamwork was the really strong aspect of this project,” says Charlotte. “Most of the Babbage Consultants team had worked together previously on the primary school project.
We got the consultants and contractor involved early on so everything was well coordinated and expectations well understood.”
Located at Pyes Pa in Tauranga, ACG school’s new state-of-the-art gymnasium complex gives the school a showpiece, she says. “Because the site is sunken below the view of the road, it’s easy to drive past and not notice the school.
So one of the aims of the three-storey gymnasium was to announce the presence of the school,” she explains.
Babbage has worked with ACG from the outset of its Tauranga project as the group set about developing a school that will cater for students from primary through to Year-13.
The Babbage architectural team planned and designed the initial 14 classroom development for junior pupils in 2014. The brief for the gymnasium was to create a practical functional building with in-built fl exibility.
For example included are three classro oms that can be converted into a function space, while the gym itself can be used for school assemblies and other activities, and will be available for community use.
The gym consists of a full-size court area for basketball, netball, volleyball and badminton with bleachers on both sides rising from mezzanine level above changing rooms, plant rooms and storage areas.
Charlotte says that one design challenge was creating a completely clear span building as the client wanted people sitting in the bleachers to have an unencumbered view of the games.
She says that due to the client’s budget and wish list the design had to be extremely economical in terms of use of space. Materials and design also took into account the physical comfort of the users.

New gymnasium makes a statement
The ACG gymnasium building has in-built flexibility, with three classrooms that can be converted into a function space.

For example inside the gym, each end wall is clad with perforated plywood panels, used for their acoustic properties and to conceal and protect louvres that allow natural ventilation.
The double-glazing has a grey tint on the outer glass to reduce glare and solar gain.
Maximum use has been made of natural ventilation and light, and a building management system includes sensorcontrolled lights, security and keyless entry.
Babbage Consultants is a multi-disciplinary practice offering tailored consultancy services across architecture, engineering, land development and project management.
Charlotte says the multi faceted offering means clients have just one point of contact for their project, often saving time and money as a result of the streamlined process.
The company has a long history spanning around 80 years and completes a wide variety of projects New Zealand wide.
“We listened to what the client wanted and delivered to that brief. The ACG Tauranga gymnasium is a highly durable low maintenance building that looks great. People defi nitely know the school is there now.”
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