Mountfort Architectural Plan: Christchurch East District School

Benjamin Mountfort
One architectural plan by Benjamin Mountfort showing the ground plan of Christchurch East District School.
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Christchurch East District School was envisioned as a co-ed school with accommodation for both boys and girls when it opened in 1873. That being said, the sexes were completely segregated within the school. The division between the boys and girls was made even clearer in the final plans. On the exterior, Mountfort used a robust ‘childproof’ cladding of vertical boards with triangular-section battens, but the treatment of the interior reveals a remarkable concern for detail with, for example, the profiles of timber mouldings drawn in full size on plans. The architect even designed desks and benches for the pupils, with different sizes graduated to accommodate the needs of children of different ages. The school received some damage during the earthquakes but following repairs remains open.
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