Mount Albert Grammar School (MAGS) have been operating an 8.1 hectare teaching farm in the middle of Auckland city since 1932. The Auckland Institute of Horticulture instigated this initiative, deciding that children growing up in cities were losing knowledge of farming practices, and brought MAGS and ASB together in a partnership that has now spanned almost 90 years.
In 2015, Jasmax were commissioned to design a new ASB Agricultural Experience Centre at the farm site in Mt Albert.
With ASB as the primary sponsor of the initiative, the architecture team worked with MAGS to create an experience centre that supports hands-on agricultural and horticultural learning for everything from animal handling to forestry.
A flexible learning environment, the new facility includes five classrooms with movable walls to provide exhibition and teaching spaces, milking and shearing facilities as well as a hydroponics building. The centre will support the community further by being open to industry and other Auckland secondary schools.
The building’s design is benchmarked to environmental and operational best practice, with features including solar panel arrays, a water recovery programme, natural ventilation and maximum access to natural light. Currently in the design phase.