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Contemporary new school gymnasium designed for a range of activities

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Optimising natural light penetration, passive ventilation and offering a bold, sculptural aesthetic, this new gymnasium is the latest addition to ACG Tauranga

Contemporary new school gymnasium designed for a range of activities


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This gleaming new gymnasium complex is the latest stage in the development of the Academic Colleges Group (ACG) school at Pyes Pa, Tauranga. Together with its modern facilities, the building adds a sculptural element to the campus. Babbage Consultants undertook the multi-faceted project, lead by architect Charlotte Saunders who worked closely with Babbage civil and structural engineers, geotechnical and building services teams.

"Babbage has worked with ACG from the outset to develop facilities to cater for primary students through to Year 13," says Saunders.

"Part of the brief was the new gymnasium, which includes classrooms that can be converted into a function space, while the gymnasium itself can be used for school assemblies and other activities.

"We had to be economical in our use of space for this building," she says. "There's not a millimetre wasted. Plus, everything needed to be highly durable, low-maintenance, and stand the test of time."

The gym includes a full-size court area for netball, basketball, volleyball and badminton, with bleachers on both sides rising from mezzanine level above changing rooms, plant rooms and storage areas.

The upper floors provide three classrooms that can be converted into a function space overlooking the outdoor playing fields and indoor court.

"Inside the gym, the end walls are clad with perforated plywood panels, used for their acoustic properties and to conceal and protect louvres that allow natural ventilation," she says. "The classrooms also have acoustic walls that can be moved out of the way to create the expansive function area."

The double-glazing has a grey tint to reduce glare and solar gain, while the ceiling is designed to further deliver precise acoustics. The gym features an advanced BMS that includes sensor-controlled lighting, security and keyless entry.

For further details, contact Babbage Consultants, phone: (09) 379 9980. Email:, or head online:


First published date: 26 September 2017

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