This award winning project by McKenzie Higham Architecture, Wellington, was the first new school in Wellington for 25 years. It has a Green Star ‘5 Star’ rating for sustainability and is an example of MOE ‘21st Century Learning Environments’.

Jeff’s role while employed by McKenzie Higham Architecture was as project architect. He was involved in all stages of the project including:

  • Project initiation and pre-design
  • Team leader for concept, preliminary and developed design stages
  • Team leader for detailed design and documentation packages
  • On-site architect for observation of the project


“Jeff Brickell, an architect with McKenzie Higham, was significantly involved in developing the design of the building. Having taken up the position of principal in May 2012, I worked very closely with Jeff as we finalised the design, colour scheme, data, cabling etc. for the new school. As an educationalist this was a very challenging time for me because I was often completely outside my comfort zone. However, Jeff made this time much easier by carefully advising me and providing me with detailed information which helped me to make good decisions. At times he spoke very strongly on our behalf – to ensure we received the best school possible to enable and enhance our vision for teaching and learning. Jeff was always highly respectful (when I could have easily felt stupid!), valuing our educational voice,  thinking carefully about the students and teachers (but particularly the 5 – 10 year old students) who would inhabit the buildings. I finished with the feeling that the architects had gone above and beyond to provide us with a school that we all absolutely love, that has great soul, and that is highly functional. Every day as I walk through the school, I am still impressed with their attention to detail. The use of colour is outstanding. Somehow, they have managed to fill a school with colour and yet create an extremely calming and peaceful environment. Everyone who comes to the school comments on it. And the students identify that the design of the school really helps their learning!

I am very grateful to Jeff and McKenzie Higham because they created an environment that makes me, all the staff, students, parents and visitors to our school feel highly valued as human beings. This is indeed a huge accomplishment – to create an institutional building that is truly humanising. Thanks so much, Jeff, for all you contributed to this. I wish you all the best with this new exciting venture and I feel able to genuinely and strongly recommend your work.”

Lesley Murrihy
Amesbury School