Douglas Park School
Through harmonious natural colours and subtle arrangements, Advance carpet tiles evoke a local waterway theme in a Wairarapa primary school.
A refurbishment of the administration block at Douglas Park School in Whakaoriori Masterton provided the opportunity to connect the school with its local environment in a profound and unique way, using Havelock and Awake carpet tiles from Advance Flooring.
Journey of local discovery
Four streams flow around the school and its surrounding green space, the Māori names of which were thought lost. Students and staff went on a journey to rediscover those names, successfully finding three of them: Mangatepuku, Waimāteatea and Waipōkākā. That journey, and the streams themselves, are now beautifully represented on the floor of the new admin block.
‘The total area is around 400 square metres,’ says Frank Bourke, project manager at IR Group, who managed the fitout. ‘The main remit was to create a big staff room, and with such a large floor area, they really wanted a design that would mean something.’
Streams guide the way
School principal Gareth Sinton explains how Māori travelling through the Whakaoriori area oriented themselves using the four waterways, particularly Mangatepuku – manga meaning stream, and te puku meaning the stomach or centre. Knowing which stream was at the centre meant travellers knew precisely where they were.
Using Havelock and Awake carpet tiles in natural shades of blue, green and grey, the school, IR Group and Advance collaborated on a design that would represent the paths of the streams, flowing through and connecting various spaces.
‘The idea was to have them all converge at the staff room, the meeting place,’ says Bourke. ‘The landscape is right there when you step outside the school, and so there are the colours of the hills and the riverbeds in there as well.’
The right tiles for a school space
Approved by the Ministry of Education, Havelock and Awake carpet tiles are ideal for learning environments, with a 25dB acoustic rating and Group 3 fire rating for use up to 1200mm high on walls. And with a wide range of complementary colours and textures, they can be combined to stunning effect.
‘I’m really proud of how the floor came out,’ says Bourke, ‘and I know that the school feels the same. Gareth was calling me three-quarters of the way through the installation saying, “You’ve got to get over here and take a look at how great it’s looking.” So everyone’s feeling very positive.’
Designer: IR Group
Builder: MB Brown Ltd
Photographer: Paul Mccredie