Inquiry - the journey

We began by looking at the current function of the SQUARE EDGE building. This is a building we know well as it is the home of our Arts Recycling Centre. On this Living Heritage page we will outline a sequential and final presentation of our findings. If you are interested in our inquiry while it was emerging then please visit our blog entries from 'Set Sail'.

With the support of our wonderful art guru - Rei Hendry - we used the work of Ralph Hotere as a starting point to develop our own narratives and explored ways to capture our emotional responses to the Square Edge Building. Warm brown tones reflected wood and comfort. Greens and deep purples reflected the sense of calm when entering this building. See more samples of our artworks here.

Our RICH QUESTION was 'What has changed?'. We needed some different types of information ...

* the history of the building and it's use

* the buildings current or present use

* any future plans for Square Edge

We collected the information we needed in various ways - visiting the building, poring over photocopies of floor plans, searching through old newspaper articles, talking to our mayor Jono Naylor, searching the City Archives, looking online at Pataka Ipurangi: Manawatu Memory Online through our city library website and talking to older people in our community. We kept track by adding new information to our collective timeline.

As we discovered new information we tried to make sense of it by making connections to what we already knew. The more we got into it the more interested we became. We considered why the Square Edge building had been modified in the past and found that earthquake damage was a key contributing factor. Our loved arts recycling centre is housed in what was once the stables! We had not thought about needing stables.

As always our research process relies on KEY WORDS and an active wish to TRIANGULATE what we are discovering. We recorded where we found our facts so we could revist them if need be.

We discovered Reginald Thorrold Jaggard designed the front of the building to replace the one damaged in the earthquake. The new frontage opened in 1945. We were told the building is from the Art Deco style so we went on a discovery walk close to school and noted key art deco features on houses like this one ...

but after some more research we found out that Square Edge is NOT a true art deco building!

To bring our thoughts into order before moving towards our 'in the future' phase of the inquiry we created an individual cardboard print of the building frontage. Before creating our printing blocks we drew our plans in pencil.

As a class we created a 3D model of the Square Edge frontage. We noticed that the building appeared to be made up of a collection of 'box' like pieces so we ran with this idea.

The model and our acting skills helped us to share our findings with our school community at our assembly.

We were also invited to take part in our local library display of Historic Places. We also sent our class inquiry book to explain our journey of discovery. Unfortunately we can't put our book here ... you are MOST welcome to come and visit us in class if you would like to read it or any of the other books we have created as part of our learning this year.

We discovered that A LOT has changed over the life of this building. It still remains a building that people love. It currently belongs to the Palmerston North City Council and there are no plans to sell it. It is one of Navigators favourite buildings in our city. The building frontage has barely changed over the past sixty or so years. This is a huge compliment to Reginald Thorrold Jaggard as his design has really stood the test of time. We still love the clean, crisp lines and the flowing, curved entrance.