Marshland School


Marshland School is the first completed project of the $1.1 Billion the government is spending over ten years to repair and rebuild Christchurch schools.

Previously, the school was still operating from its old site 600 metres down the road from the new location. The existing site experienced a lot of damage from the earthquakes entitling Marshland School to receive a complete rebuild.

S&T with CityCare, Hayball, MNLA and Aurecon worked closely with the staff and key stakeholders on the Design and Build of their new school. The school is entirely located within one building on the premises, hosting 400 students with the ability to for expansion to fit 200 more.

Marshland School begun in 1878 originally known as Rhodes Swamp School, the original school bell as well as the old red tracker and a student memorial came over to the new site as recognition of its past.

The new Marshland School, around 20 minutes from Christchurch’s city centre merges with surrounding schools and sits next to Preston’s residential development. The country is not far away and the tight knit community are known as welcoming and warm.

It is important to the stakeholders that the new school was seen as a community facility and is welcoming, warm and inviting to parents and accessible on the weekend. It also was a requirement of the ministry that the new school meets DQLS requirements whilst also incorporating Greenstar design principles where achievable within the budget.

Lisa Horton from Hayball worked on interiors creating a central point in the school for library and café where parents can feel engaged with the school without disrupting class time. The prerequisite that the school fit within one building has allowed for more open flexible spaces with overall design of the school facing outwards enabling for a strong connection between indoor and outdoor spaces as sport is a major focus for the school. Learning hubs located either side of the central admin were planned utilising ‘kitset’ learning settings developed by Hayball and S&T, these spaces are visually and physically connected to respond to the flow of learning and ‘Blended

Learning’ pedagogy of the school. Each of these hubs are defined by a central gathering space, where the whole group can meet before breaking off into smaller groups where they can take advantage of the range of smaller targeted activity spaces.

Working within the tight timeframe was a challenge however, the advantage of the Design and Build contract with CityCare has enabled for deadlines to be met as they are our one point of contact. Comparisons of time and costs of design options were explored concurrently with the design enabling us to include a higher level of detail in our design as some construction methods and materials were quickly locked in.

Innovative construction and cladding systems were explored under the contract too. The school is one building rather than a series of smaller blockers which, helped with the budget meaning less cladding, less structure and integrated use of zoning spaces. The design incorporates passive environmental design principles within the ventilation and natural daylighting saving money and the environment at no extra cost to the client. Regular coordination between all consultants and stakeholders allowed a highly considered and integrated design to develop, meaning an optimised layout and building configuration with minimal compromise.

Project Team