The Wellington Regional School of Construction has been recognised by the New Zealand Institute of Architects at the Wellington Architecture Awards. The new building received the sole award in the education category at a ceremony in Wellington last night.
Chris Gosling Chief Executive of WelTec and Whitireia says, “This prestigious new campus provides the best possible learning environment for students wanting to train for the construction sector and we are thrilled that the design has been recognised by the New Zealand Institute of Architects.”
The campus, which opened its doors in Petone in 2015, is situated on a prominent site at the gateway to the Hutt Valley and sees more than 220 students learning a trade at any one time in a modern learning environment.
"The School is purpose built to suit today’s and tomorrow’s learning needs. The campus environment provides students with an invaluable opportunity to be involved in all parts of the construction process with multi-purpose open plan workshops and spaces with student break-out areas,” says Head of Construction WelTec and Whitireia Neil McDonald.
The campus was designed by Designgroup Stapleton Elliot (DGSE) and built by Maycroft Construction Ltd (MCL) and incorporates the latest in design features and building practice.
DGSE utilised the significant scale of the building and its prominent location to design a Gateway Structure at the entrance to the Hutt Valley. The building features elevated copper coloured steel clad boxes supported on a concrete clad base building. The boxes make reference to containers used by students in an interesting and visually striking way. MCL used tilt-up pre-cast concrete wall panels, constructed on the polystyrene ribraft floor slab, structural steel frame and an Ultratherm Extreme warm roof to provide an economic and efficient construction methodology.
Alistair Luke, a Wellington architect and convenor of the awards jury that visited 40 shortlisted projects, said that Designgroup Stapleton Elliott made “a direct but very clever response to a very specific brief with a tight budget”.
“This new facility proudly celebrates the former nature of the previous containers occupying the site. It reflects in a raw but composed manner the function within, whilst providing a rhythmic and deliberate edge to the motorway adjacent. Against that motorway setting it is a striking building. The open-ended boxes allow a glimpse of occupation from each end. The honest use of materials has continued throughout, with the layering of the container forms above the shed allowing views from above and below. This is a direct but very clever response to a very specific brief with a tight budget.”
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