The University of Canterbury Erskine Building
The University of Canterbury
Cook Hitchcock Sargisson, Royal Associates
“The balance of architectural qualities is particularly striking: it is architecturally dramatic and seductive yet it is also socially responsive to its users.”
Rory Spence Architecture New Zealand September/October 1998
Part of the ‘Sciences West Precinct’ of the University of Canterbury, the building forms the southern edge of the precinct and a courtyard bounded by the Physical Sciences Library to the north.
Conceptually the building is divided into two distinct zones of learning – the three (seven-storey) academic towers for staff and postgraduate research, and the four-storey teaching wing for undergraduate studies. These two elements are brought together around a top-lit atrium, contained at the ends by vertical circulation/service cores.
The academic offices within the towers are arranged in north facing ‘clusters’ of ten around vertically stacked double height spaces.
The offices, enjoying striking views across the Canterbury Plains are naturally ventilated with manually operated mechanisms controlling both sun and ventilation.
Across the atrium the teaching block and computer labs face south, enjoying natural light and generous views across Okeover lawn, without the problems of glare and solar gain.
Tasman Award – Large Practice Award 1999
NZIA New Zealand Architecture Award 1999
NZIA Southern Regional Award for Architecture, Community and Cultural 1999
Interior Design Awards – Finalist 1998