Friday, 2 August 2019 marked the official opening of the new University of Canterbury Students’ Association building, Haere-roa. Part of the University’s wellbeing precinct, Haere-roa offers students a state-of-the-art space for social activities, events, clubs and meetings.
The name Haere-roa, translated as the longest stream or the long wanderer, was gifted to the UCSA by mana whenua, Ngāi Tūāhuriri and is linked to the Ōtākaro Avon River, which flows past the site.
The project presented a unique opportunity to create a student centred ‘home away from home’ reflective of student activity on campus and catering to the needs and diversity of the student community.
Located on the idyllic banks of the Avon River, Haere-roa provides light and sunny spaces with strong connections to the new outdoor amphitheatre and landscape. The building and its surrounds are a key component in creating what is often referred to as a ‘sticky campus’. This concept looks to provide environments for students to meet, linger and stay on campus for activities other than formal learning activities.
The form, scale and materiality of the building creates a variety of activity zones and spatial qualities and allows for large function and hospitality spaces as well as intimate spaces that students can make their own. The building provides meeting, office and advocacy spaces for students and UCSA staff and includes a new Ngaio Marsh Theatre.