Photographer: Michael Ng
The Raye Freedman Arts Centre was realised as the figurehead building for Epsom Girls Grammar School (EGGS) and completes the Gillies Ave elevation, a final component in the masterplan for the school.
Siting the centre on the prominent corner of Gillies Ave and Silver Rd provided a vital link for the school to the wider community, allowing EGGS to complete the fundraising for the project by entering into a joint venture project with Auckland City Council.
The design processes addressed the dual use by community and school. The public entrance foyer engages with the street, inviting community participation with its transparency and large scale; from the street at night the foyer is lit up by glowing red wall, its form gently bulging outwards.
Some of the features of the centre include a
250-seat Lady Fisher Auditorium, a large foyer for exhibition, launches, post performance gatherings and functions and generous rehearsal spaces that open onto a natural outdoor amphitheatre with music and drama suites.
Grey profiled metal cladding to the elevations forms a camouflage against the basalt stone the school is founded upon. From inside the facility, during the day, white-framed windows frame the trees; at night the circulation corridor and windows are illuminated, dissolving the facade from the exterior.
Text from Architecture NZ, May/June 2005