Sancta Maria College

Completion date
Architecture, Landscape Architecture

With the opening of the Catholic Diocese’s first integrated secondary school in Auckland for 30 years came the opportunity to create a considered collection of school and parish buildings based on a collegiate model.

Through an ongoing relationship with the client, project conceptualisation and development progressed to the expansion of new classroom blocks and facilities, including a new gymnasium.

The scheme, based on rectilinear intersections, generated a series of sheltered courtyards and contemplative pathways. Rectilinear forms are celebrated through the alluring patterning of colour, texture and planting.

The use of external circulation spaces, formed by colonnades and wide verandas, refers to the typology of educational architecture generally, and the cloister of the Catholic tradition specifically.

Single-width teaching spaces are oriented to the north for the winter sun. Natural light fills the classrooms and effective cross-ventilation manages the interior climate. Deep north-facing verandas, combined with large sliding doors, produce teaching spaces that can share common areas, creating flexible learning and social environments.

Religious imagery finds new form in the landscape architecture. A grove of 40 olive trees frames the chapel. Plantings create spaces of meditation. Iconography is gently abstracted and aligned with material shifts. Water is introduced at the main entrance and creates a linear thread to the central courtyard. The visual transcendence of stained glass, walkway screens of wood and translucent colour striations resonate with shimmering light and colour.


  • 2005 NZILA Pride of Place Award

Other team members

Hamish Boyd Principal Auckland
Phone+64 9 366 9625 Mobile+64 21 799 303 Save Contact
Andrew Douglas Architecture
Kate Larkin Registered Architect (UK) - Senior Associate Auckland
David Mahon Registered Architect - Senior Associate Auckland
Phone09 366 9626 Save Contact
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