Victoria University of Wellington Campus Hub & Library Upgrade
Athfield | Architectus
Emerging Chapter Award Winner & COMMENDATION: CATEGORY 2: NEW CONSTRUCTION, MAJOR FACILITY
21 Kelburn Parade Kelburn Wellington 6012 New Zealand
The campus Hub project comprised the refurbishment of Rankine Brown Library, Easterfield and Maclaurin Buildings, a new Hub building, and the new Tim Beaglehole Courtyard. The project sought to create a high quality student experience and new nexus for the Kelburn Campus, around which social and learning activities would revolve.
The Campus Hub and Library Upgrade project at Victoria University of Wellington by Athfield /Architectus has transformed what was previously an inhospitable and windswept quad into a true heart to Kelburn Campus, an active, vibrant and engaging central space with a strong sense of place.
The project comprises the refurbishment of 3 existing buildings, a new Hub building and landscaped courtyard. The design not only reflects new thinking in library design but has also contributed positively to the overall campus experience and connectivity. The new Hub is placed between the existing buildings, repairing edges and reactivating connections to create a high quality student experience and focal point for the Kelburn Campus, around which social and learning activities can revolve.
Through a few simple yet insightful design moves, the design team has overcome the various project challenges ( topography, poor connectivity etc ) and achieved an elegant and successful space for learning, community interaction and intellectual exchange.
The Campus Hub project comprised the refurbishment of Rankine Brown Library, a new Hub building and Courtyard, and ground level refurbishments of Easterfield and Maclaurin Buildings. It sought to create a high quality student experience and new nexus for the Campus, around which social and learning activities could revolve.
To establish a campus heart, the project overcame challenging topography and poor connectivity previously existing in this part of the campus.
The key design intervention was to excavate the site of the Quad between Easterfield Building, Maclaurin Lecture Theatres and Rankin Brown Library, and remove the Easterfield Lecture theatre which projected into this space. This established a new continuous ground plane linking Kelburn Parade, aligned the ground levels of all buildings in this sector of the campus, allowed the insertion of the new Hub building and the creation of a new outdoor space.
The 'Great Room ' is a large ground floor double height space in the Hub. It centralises the activities of the adjoining library, lecture theatres and new retail spaces, providing a student focused space for social and informal learning activities as well as large gatherings and events. The new Reading Room projects over the student space, symbolically interlocking both social and learning functions of the Hub.
The new Tim Beaglehole Courtyard opens directly onto the 'Great Room ' creating a pairing of indoor/ outdoor spaces around which the social and learning activities of the University revolve. Large automated sliding doors allow both spaces to seamlessly merge.
The reconfigured Library is an integral part of the Campus Hub, opening into and actively engaging with the new Hub. High use collections and informal and group study areas are relocated to the lower levels of Rankine Brown, where larger floor plates allow for more flexible learning configurations. A shift in the threshold of security enables the Library to provide more services and learning functions within the Hub, complementing social learning activities and adding vitality.
Key connections across campus unite at the Hub. The resulting juxtaposition of old and new supports a spatial clarity critical to wayfinding, providing a first class student environment.
This page last updated: Tuesday 26 May 2015
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