Business South August 2022

| 83 McCoy and Wixon Architects Richard Hudson Kindergarten - the glass-fronted indoor spaces can be opened to a number of covered play areas. Photo: Graham Warman ARCHITECTURE Virginia Wright Matthew Mitchell is one of three Directors comprising the management team at McCoy and Wixon Architects, the other two being Regan Hall with whom he went through architecture school and Niko Young. They’re supported by consultant Hamish Wixon who, as his name suggests, is the second generation of the Wixon family to be involved in the practice with his father Peter having been a founding Director. Established 70 years ago it’s one of the largest architectural practices in Dunedin with 17 team members including their office management and administration staff. “As well as the management team we have a great technical team composed of architects, graduates, and architectural technicians ranging from senior project leaders through to newly qualified technicians,” says Matthew. Two of their senior architectural technicians John Hurley and Paul Hopkins have been with the company for 50 years. “We’re lucky to have them with us working in the capacity of project leaders, in particular through the construction stages of our projects. We still provide a full architectural service for the majority of our projects,” explains Matthew, “full design along with contract administration and observation both in consultancy and construction.” They have a well-founded body of projects and experience throughout the South Island based around this premise of full-service commission in the traditional sense which, Matthew believes, is exactly why their repeat clients keep coming to them. “There’s a tried and tested element to that,” says Matthew, “plus our long-established rapport with clients, consultants and contractors Proudly associated with McCoy & Wixon Architects 29 Fox St., South Dunedin & Alexandra 03 455 2057 Fax 03 455 5959 • Passive Fire Protection • Specialised Kitchens • Housing • Design and Build • Timber Joinery • Alterations Construction Ltd See our website for more information Tried and tested team deliver that’s really testament to our brand and our reputation. Education is a recurring them in Matthew Mitchell’s work, with the Dunedin Kindergarten Association (DKA) being one of McCoy and Wixon’s repeat clients. Their recent new build of the Richard Hudson Kindergarten is one of the three builds McCoy and Wixon have put into this year’s New Zealand Institute of Architects (NZIA) Southern Architecture Awards. “We’ve worked with the DKA over the last couple of decades so there’s been an evolution in the design of their facilities that we’ve been involved with throughout Dunedin.” says Matthew. The site of the Richard Hudson Kindergarten was gifted to the DKA close to 100 years ago in the 1920’s by the Hudson family specifically for the purpose of becoming a kindergarten. In what is the firm’s standard approach a good deal of work went into the initial feasibility study, in this case as to the possibility of making the existing building compliant to today’s standards, and making it fit-for-purpose, followed by working with the client on the brief and the concept design. In this case the existing building had to go. “A key aspect was the need for speed in construction to minimize the time the children were off-site. So we developed a hybrid construction methodology, effectively a mix between commercial and residential construction. We have large clear spans facilitated by a steel primary structure which gave us construction speed on-site, and it also gave us the flexibility of really large open areas within the building. “Light timber framing completed the internal fit-out partitions, more akin to residential construction. We used a lot of pre-finished materials such as metal and plywood cladding as well: simple, economical, robust materials which in this context means they’re pretty bullet-proof and need little or no maintenance moving forward,” explains Matthew. The result is a very open building with no nooks and crannies, with the roof lifting up to the north, and the ability for the internal spaces such as learning and play areas to easily be altered as required. The glass-fronted indoor spaces can be opened to a number of covered play areas and, also part of the brief, there is easy access to the long-established playground with its covered sandpits and mature, protected trees.