The University of Auckland
“I find myself wondering why the University doesn’t commission all its buildings in this straightforward, sustainable, economical, generic yet noble and decorous form.”
Charles Walker Architecture New Zealand September/October 2004
Sited at the Tamaki Campus of The University of Auckland, the Ray Meyer Research Centre is the first of three similar buildings intended for the ‘Environment, Materials and Food’ sector of the campus.
The design objective for these buildings is to develop highly flexible and economical research and teaching facilities. This has been achieved through a modular design response able to accommodate growth and change in use over time.
The building comprises ten bays; the primary bays, measuring 20 by 10 metres by 7.2 metres high, are able to accommodate heavy machinery and can be combined with secondary bays of 10 by 10 metres, which may be configured in a variety of ways – as extensions of the main bay with possibly a small mezzanine or divided into two floors of offices.
Within six years, areas of the building changed in its use including 800m2 of general office space for the Ministry of Education and a workshop constructing single seater race cars. It has also housed both the workshop and teaching spaces for the Composite Materials Research Department of the School of Engineering and a working winery for the Viniculture course.
The building incorporates environmentally sustainable design principles. Wherever possible materials derived from sustainable resources, or materials that are easily recyclable, were specified. Natural ventilation, sun shading and high levels of thermal insulation were also employed.
NZIA New Zealand Architecture Award – Education 2004