Environmental education facility


Proposed education facility

Site: Mangemangeroa Reserve, Howick, Auckland

Completion: Concept, 2016

Services provided:

  • Brief development
  • Site investigation
  • Architectural design
  • Project visualisations
  • Sustainable design

Project overview

The Mangemangeroa Environmental Education Facility Trust’s brief was to create a concept for a building that would enhance the landscape and environment and inspire visitors and future generations.

Careful use of natural resources and minimising the impact of the building and construction on the environment were also critical components of the client’s brief.

Architect Max Grant, a long-time supporter of the project, and the Context team led by Principal Jonathan Gibb designed a building that would be sculpted into the hillside, split by a central stairway leading down to the main entrance from above.

We specified design and construction methods that in themselves would provide a source of environmental education through use of energy-efficient and sustainable materials and design principles.

Features included both passive design, such as orientation to manage solar gain, thermal mass, shading, and natural ventilation, and active measures such as solar-generated power and water recycling.

The building was also envisaged to serve as an exhibition space, a community facility, a gathering and lookout space, and a starting point for the walking tracks at Mangemangeroa Reserve.

“A showcase for regenerative design. The building would give back more to the environment than it took and would be a centre of life-long learning providing a legacy project for this and future generations.”Jonathan Gibb, Principal