The University of Auckland Waipapa Taumata Rau
Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland
Salmond Reed Architects
Behind the iconic University Clocktower building designed in 1922 by Roy Lippincott is tucked an ancillary building designed by the architect in the same gothic revival style. Originally designated as male and female (gender-separated) student common rooms, the two-level building is linked to the clocktower via open passageways or cloisters.
With the opening of the new Student Union in the 1960s the building was taken over by university administration, its internal form obscured by a web of internal partitioning, and its pivotal social purpose in this part of the campus lost.
Relocation of the administration allowed for the reoccupation of the building by students as teaching and common spaces. A programme of structural strengthening to the building and the gothic stone cloisters was undertaken. Internal partitioning was stripped out, exposing the building shell for restoration. The original plan form of the building was reinstated.
Within the H-shaped building form lecture theatres are stacked at both levels in the wings either side of informal student study areas, connected by a new internal stair and back through the cloisters and Clocktower to Princes Street.
The materials palette is warm and welcoming with matt white paintwork to plaster surfaces, timber panelling and doors and soft furnishings to common spaces. Historic stone fireplaces at both levels have been exposed and restored.
The reinstated heritage building provides a significant presence in the historic hub of the university and offers enhanced connectivity to the heart of the campus.
NZIA Auckland Architecture Award – Heritage 2019
PCNZ Property Industry Excellence Award – Heritage & Adaptive Reuses 2020