NPBHS Wharenui


Ministry of Education


New Plymouth

Completion Date


  • Architecture
  • Seismic Strengthening
  • Refurbishment
  • NZIA Regional Architecture Award
The re-purposing and refurbishment of Q block has brought culture to the heart of the school.

The relocation of the maihi and amo from the existing Wharenui, and the re-purpose and addition of an atea, transforms this existing building to a functional and inspiring cultural facility at the heart of the school.

This heritage building sat idle unused for two years due to seismic issues. With the completion of this project the building has new life and new purpose, now functioning as a flexible learning space. Its primary focus in upon fostering the learning of Te reo Māori at the school. The exterior addition of the atea allows formal welcomes, pōwhiri as well as space where performance is undertaken. The re-purposing of this building also brings the wharenui from the distant rear of the campus and puts culture at the center of the school grounds. Structural strengthening work has been designed and built with sympathy to the historic nature of the existing building. External block columns add the necessary strength to help achieve new standards of New Zealand’s building code. Internal steel has been positioned to give the ceiling structure extra strength. Striking native timber panels and joinery have been refinished while acoustics have been improved with new upper wall treatments.