The AUT business school provides a conceptual and formal connection between the city and academia. Having trialled design concepts for academic space and new study spaces in the previous building, the new Business School incorporated a range of cultural and operational changes.
The resulting building provides flexible learning spaces, where any class can happen in any room. The improved building efficiency allowed AUT to use uniform class sizes and efficient timetabling to achieve a previously unprecedented space utilisation of 85%.
Staff offices have also reduced in size. However, generous inbuilt shelving, provision of views and rationalisation of space has produced a more effective working environment. Teaching modes have changed through multifunctional rooms featuring custom-designed furniture that provide full IT facilities for students without the restriction of computer labs.
Generous and inviting common areas have created a collegiality that wasn’t previously supported.
With space at a premium in this urban campus internal areas are multi-functional. Circulation routes, including lifts, escalators and stairwells, support peak flows every hour as students and staff begin and end their lectures and seminars. When not in use these thoroughfares provide a place for students to study or relax.
Responding to the physical features of the site, the building pushes to the street edges with energetic use of the ground floor and street-openings. Café and common areas open out onto public space and the compact courtyard, concentrating student activity and enlivening the
campus. Interior spaces are lined with wood striations, softening and warming the space. In support of university innovation, an AUT design student generated the Pacific -influenced patterning featured in the building’s glass and carpeting.
Environmentally sustainable design was a core focus in this project and the specification of sustainable materials was rigorously adhered to. The provision of bike stands at the entrance supports green commuting and design for low energy-use. Although specifically designed for contemporary needs, this building has also been configured in a manner that would make it eminently suitable as a commercial office building, thereby future-proofing AUT’s investment.
- 2006 NZIA - Resene New Zealand Supreme for Architecture
- 2006 NZIA – Resene New Zealand Award for Architecture – Education
- 2006 Property Council of New Zealand Rider Hunt Building Award – Excellence
- 2006 Property Council of New Zealand Rider Hunt Building Award, The Ministry for the Environment and Auckland City Council Urban Design Award, The Telecom New Zealand Limited Education and Arts Property Award
- 2005 NZIA – Resene Local Award for Architecture – Education