Faculty of Architecture & Design
Victoria University of Wellington Te Herenga Waka
Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington
Architectus worked with University’s Campus Development Team and the Faculty of Architecture and Design on the reconfiguration of the Te Aro Campus.
The existing Vivian Street Building, a four storey concrete structure with a floor plate of 62 x 55m, features a central atrium running north-south bringing daylight into the building and enabling views out north to the adjacent Cobblestone Park.
The project commenced with master planning the re-distribution of departments across the buildings and a strategy for seismic strenghthening. The staged works focused on the reconfiguration of the ground floor. The objectives established in dialogue with the users included:
- Improved connection between the school, the adjacent Cobblestone Park and the wider context of the city
- An atrium that can become the heart of the school and is flexible to accommodate crits and events
- A library that is better integrated with the rest of the faculty
The reconfigured ground floor is entered via a new generous ramp that rises alongside the park edge to the main entry – which is now in axis with the central atrium. An externally facing glazed exhibition space at the corner allows students to display their work to the public.
The building’s ground floor is treated as a continuous space, structured by a series of wooden volumes which accommodate areas that require either visual or acoustic privacy such as the lecture theatres, the administration, library staff offices and meeting rooms. The new library is now visually connected to the atrium and offers communicative and quiet study spaces with ample daylight through newly introduced windows. The atrium provides a variety of spaces for students and staff to study, meet and relax. The furniture is removable for large events and a critique space with mobile display units brings the life of the faculty into the atrium.