Saturday, March 21, 2015

Covered with rubber tiles

The fact that the Auckland architects came first and third in the competitive designs for the new Auckland Grammar School to be erected at Mt. Eden, proves the wisdom of the Board of Governors in having selected two judges outside of this district. The gentlemen were Mr. P. Y. Wales, of Wellington, who is president of the New Zealand Institute of Architects, and Mr William Creighton, a well-known Dunedin architect. These gentlemen met the members of tbe Board of Governors yesterday afternoon at the Choral Hall, where all the designs were displayed. The following were present: Sir G. M. O'Rorke (chairman). Professor Brown, Professor Thomas, Messrs A. Kidd, 0. J. Garland, A. R. Harris, and the headmaster, Mr J. W. Tibbs. The judges had to inspect very varied types of buildings, some being severely plain, while others were almost Eastern in the ornate decorative work.

The decision of the judges was as follows: No. 5 design first, No. 2 second, and No. 3 third. The Board then opened the sealed envelopes to ascertain the names of the architects, and found the winners were as follows:—

Messrs Charles Arnold and R. Atkinson Abbott (joint design) 1: Messrs Hoggard and Prouse and W. Gummer, A.R.I.B.A., 2: Mr. H. C. Grierson, 3

The prizes will be allotted when it is found that it will be possible to erect the buildings as designed for the sum stipulated, namely £40,000. The first prize is £400, second prize £200. and third prize £100.


The design which received first position has the advantage of being tastefully artistic, and eminently suited to sub-tropical climate like that of Auckland. Messrs Arnold and Abbott have adopted what is known as the Mission style as understood in Southern California. The reason for this is that thie climate here is similar to that of California, where a semi-open-air life in vogue[sic]. This had a good deal to do with influencing the design, but another consideration that undoubtedly weighed was the large amount of window area required to obtain the necessary ratio of light to the floor space. The design lends itself to standardisation of windows, a very important consideration from an economical point of view.

The exterior of the building from the ground line to the ground floor is to be of red brick, and the rest of rough cast white on bricks, with red tiled roofs. The floors and staircases are to be of ferro-concrete— also, the flats. It is proposed that the entrance vestibule, headmaster's suite, and ladies' room shall be covered with rubber tiles, and all others with wood blocks, which are less noisy and easily kept clean. At each end of the building is to be a tower, which will be utilised as a ventilator.

The designers have taken advantage of the formation of the site for the school. On the Mt. Eden side the ground is 12 feet higher than on the western one, nearer the quarries. The main land of the playing field has therefore been adopted, and the building is to face the north-east, running parallel with Mountain Road. The main floor will thus be on the same level as the playing field, and this enables shelter sheds to be constructed underneath on the western side.

Advantage has been taken of the call for a swimming bath to introduce a very fine feature between the schoolhouse and the gymnasium block. The gymnasium, armoury, etc. are grouped around the swimming bath, the walls of which will form a convenient shelter from all winds. The architects have attended carefully to the artistic effect, as well as utility, and the design provides for a cluster of palm trees in the small gardens, so effectively employed in the streets of Sydney, Melbourne, Los Angeles, and the Mission towns of California.

The central hall type has been adopted, with a corridor running all round. The east wall is to be left blank for a certain portion of its length to provide room for honours boards and shields.

The plans also provide for a separate boardinghouse block to harmonise with the main design. All the buildings are well aspected and favourably arranged to give access to the playing fields. The cost of the school block, including workshops, is estimated at £30.000; conveniences, bath, latrines and janitor's quarters £5.000; and boardinghouse, £5,000; making a total of £40.000.

Auckland Star
3 May 1913
Page 9

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