WIT Health & Science Building

Project Details

Darryl Church Architecture in association with MOAA architects

Mokoia Drive Rotorua , Bay of Plenty 3040 New Zealand

Darryl Church


Graeme Murray

Project Overview

The Health & Science Centre is a stage in the master planned development of an aging tertiary campus. While the primary brief drivers were the provision of specific learning spaces, the secondary aim was the allocation of social and experimental learning spaces.

The central North Island boasts the largest plantation forests in the southern hemisphere, and WIT as a primary industry training institute for forestry, WIT has a policy to use and reflect timber in their learning environments. The project team set about creating an environment of soothing NZ timbers and green hued flooring, walls and acoustic linings. The association of timber with green hues mimics the harmony in nature. Researchers on colour psychology believe green hues improve the ability read, have a calming effect, and the power to relive stress. With a focus on a student centric facility the colours and interior materials were an intuitive choice.

Retaining the theme of forest, the exterior developed as a metaphor of a forest canopy, with the veranda and shading devices allowing a filtering of light and shelter akin to a stand of trees. Patterned green pigmented concrete panels and luminous green shading screens create a dynamic and animated exterior, constantly changing in shadow and movement around the building.

The overarching driver was for learning to move away from a didactic and static classroom cell delivery to an interactive, student centric, self- tailored model of learning. All teaching spaces are transparent. Learners are visually connected to other learners. Teaching and learning are witnessed and live. It was important aspects of the to consider adding space to the initial brief to allow for these types of spaces. Experimental and social learning commons make up 35% of the floor plate areas.
Through analysis and research of emerging trends, specialist spaces may not be relevant in the future, therefore the designs of these areas focused on adaptability and flexibility to be future proofed as much as could be envisaged.

Although only a few months in use the initial feed-back from staff, students has been glowing with old teaching programs and delivery being modified to meet the modern day needs of the student

This page last updated: Tuesday 26 May 2015

2015 Category 2 New Construction Major Facility