Western Springs College was built on a closed landfill in the 1960s. Before the construction of the school, the site and the surrounding area had a chequered history of basalt quarrying and landfilling. As a result, the school sits atop a variable thickness of historical refuse materials, which are overlaid on basalt flows that potentially originated from Mount St John (also known as Te Kōpuke or Tītīkōpuke), a volcanic scoria cone in Epsom, Auckland.
The Ministry of Education committed to a significant redevelopment of the site that saw extensive modernisation of the school, enhancing its value to students and the wider community.
Since 2012, Tonkin + Taylor has worked with the Ministry’s project lead and the design team to outline and communicate key project constraints (challenges posed by ground conditions) while identifying opportunities to create an effective design solution. Construction of the redevelopment project was completed in 2017.
Our input has ensured that the main new buildings were constructed on the shallowest part of the waste. Our experts also supported the design of multi-storey buildings to minimise the school’s building footprint and to enable a “dig out and replace” foundation option. We have been involved with the Western Springs College redevelopment project since master planning stage.