Sylvia Park School
A unique and vibrant new play space for Sylvia Park School
Sylvia Park School
Sylvia Park, Auckland
Sylvia Park School is an urban primary school located in Mt Wellington, Auckland. With a roll of 550+ students, Sylvia Park is a vibrant, diverse, and creative learning environment that welcomes students from Year 1 through to Year 8.
At the end of 2020, Sylvia Park School decided to develop the front area of their school into an engaging play space. Previously used as a car park, the area was dangerous for students to move through and had an unattractive front that visitors were passing through, which wasn’t representing the school’s unique identity and values.
The school’s principal at the time, Barbara Ala’alatoa worked with Ian Laing, the school administration and property manager to articulate a vision for the new play space and find a way to bring it to life. They had a goal to create a unique space that could really showcase who Sylvia Park are as a school.
“We were really looking for a company who could create a space for our kids, that would really reflect the kind of people that our children are. They are vibrant they are colourful, they’re diverse, they’re creative, and we wanted all of those elements captured in the design work that we wanted in our playgrounds, and in the front of our school”.
After getting some concepts from other design companies, Barbara, Ian, and the team at Sylvia Park, felt they needed something unique and different for their space. The concepts they had seen were too “commercial” looking and didn’t represent the vibrancy of the school’s staff and student body. They also realised that the best way to make sure that their vision was followed through from conception to build, would be if a sole company took on the project from start to finish. Design and Build.
“We were really interested in having a design and build company because we wanted to have a one-stop shop in terms of the vision. We didn’t want that to be translated from one person to another. We felt like it would give us our greatest chance of getting exactly what we wanted, by talking to the same people who would then, in turn, bring life to it. And that is exactly what Creo have done for us.
Creo collaborated with the school, creating a design inspired by both the ideas of the board and the students at the school. The concept was bright, colourful, interesting, unique and full of personality. Ian recalls receiving the designs and being blown away. “Once we first saw those initial designs, pretty much everything that we had brought up in the initial meeting, they had ticked that box.”
When it came time to build, the Creo construction team was ready to go, demolishing the old site to create a fresh canvas for the space. The Creo team managed the removal process, construction, re-surfacing, and instalment of new equipment. From start to finish, Creo worked with the school to bring their dream play space to life.
The result really is a celebration of the school and its students. The space tells a story of the surrounding environment, connecting the school with the world around it through play and colour.
“As we walk through, we’re walking through the solar system on our way to the Tamaki River, to the Tamaki basin, we walk over the mountains, as we walk through the volcanic field, we pop in to see Tut the Tuatara and Brownie the Kiwi, it’s just joyous.”
The new play space has created a safer environment in the front area of the school, where students can now play and spend time building friendships, learning about the world around them, and engaging with one another.
“Every element just reflects a different piece of who we are and what makes the school exciting and what makes education exciting really. It [the play space] turned out amazing and we couldn’t be happier.”
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