Alfriston College, Porchester Road, Manurewa

Patrick Corfe Landscape Architects were part of the early masterplanning team that initiated the broad layout and followed through on several stages of development. This enabled the sustained objective to make the college grounds a learning park. Integrated into the layout were a number of themes, some obvious and others to be discovered, which had been woven into the fabric of the college campus.
The buildings were interrupted by a grid established in the landscape. Its trees and paving, shrubs and flaxes provide structured contrast to the architecture. The main spine was broken with a ‘virtual forest’ arrival space and the building pattern broken buy the ‘virtual stream’ linking down to the playing fields and wetlands. Large rounded boulders also served to introduce random rocks, in clusters thought and particularly edging the stream and college Marae. The Marae forecourt and several hard spaces were balanced with softer, green areas including a small Titoki enclosed teaching court.

Introduced into the paving were symbols and patterns, the golden rectangle and aspects of measurements, proportion and distance to provide mathematical stimulus. With upper level walkways and second storey open corridors much of the open space is overlooked and alongside good incidental surveillance provides for spectators, games and events activity. Transparency objectives focus on clear stem trees and low planting with definite areas of dense revegetation and stream side plantings. Stormwater is harvested and directed to the wetlands area with ponds and riparian plantings.

The landscape has a special quality that invites exploration and provides a comfortable and robust environment for learning.