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The first purpose-built special needs school in New Zealand

Wilson Special Needs School provides educational care for children with severe mental and physical disability. The Ministry of Education called on our architectural, structural and engineering services expertise to design a bespoke building that not only addresses the needs of the students but which also creates a happy and more enjoyable environment for the students.

New Zealand's first purpose-built special needs school is located on a tranquil site in an established park-like setting. It was important that we designed a building that connects with the serenity of the landscape and expresses a close relationship to nature without overwhelming it. Our simple structure using timber and glass complements the surrounding environment and creates a calming backdrop for the students.

This project received full Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) funding for demonstrating environmental sustainability design principles and has also received many awards including:

  • 2012 Best Public Service Architecture Asia Pacific Award
  • 2009 NZIA Architecture Medal
  • 2009 NZIA Award (Public Architecture)
  • 2008 NZIA Auckland Branch Award (Public Architecture)