Liberton Christian School: Light Commercial Renovation
Liberton School needed to add to their teaching and learning spaces, in response to growing student numbers and changing needs.
The board of Liberton Christian School approached Spotted Ink needing to create new learning spaces for their growing school. Two previous residential homes were to be turned into two new classrooms and an office space. From a functional perspective, the new space had to be fully accessible, as well as flexible for the changing needs of students and teachers in the learning environment.
A structural engineer had designed the steel portal frames to strengthen the building so it could become a completely open space. We worked closely with the engineer to align design and functional aspects of the interior as well as the large, covered deck area.
Creating an open, functional and accessible learning space with lots of natural light was our main aim. The newly added deck was to be fully covered, so this open area could be used as a de-facto outdoor classroom. We took extra care when designing the clear roof of the deck, so it would not interfere with the existing roof yet provide maximum protection from the elements.
To create the desired open space, all internal walls were removed once the building had been strengthened with steel where required. The building was then relined and insulated, heat pump and fire systems were installed, as well as ensuring accessibility. To bring all elements together, we collaborated with a number of specialist consultants.
As is often the case with light commercial projects, there was a reasonable amount of project management involved to ensure all parties were kept in the loop, and the school board were able to make timely decisions. We also handled the application for resource consent, as an extension was added to the building.
The exterior has been modernised, with the brick now complemented by glass doors, and the timber cladding colour matches the steel frame. To maximise natural light and give teachers more flexibility, large glass sliding doors were put in place to connect the two classrooms. Having the covered deck as breakout space adds to the flow of the classrooms, and the large steps off the deck connect the new rooms to the rest of the school.
This project was brought to us with the initial ideas already established. Getting to work on the details and functional aspects, and ensuring a good flow of communication were really satisfying for the Spotted Ink team.