A multimillion dollar flagship law and management building is set to grace Waikato University's campus within three years, the university has revealed, but the actual cost of the building remains under wraps.
Hamilton City's senior executives and councillors were told about the building, Te Piringa – Faculty of Law and Waikato Management School's Centre for Corporate and Executive Education and student services, by vice-chancellor Professor Roy Crawford yesterday, after the university council approved the project last week.
Prof Crawford said the building, to be built on Hillcrest Rd, would help to continue the success of the university, which was recently ranked 58th in the world of universities under 50 years.
"We have major plans for this university – we are starting to make our mark on the world," Prof Crawford said.
The timing of the environmentally sustainable building was pertinent as its construction would mark the 50th anniversary of the university, which falls in 2014, he said.
The new building – designed by Opus Architecture – will feature a "striking" recti-linear five-storey office tower with vertical sunshade vanes referencing the tukutuku reed panels in a traditional Maori meeting house.
Teaching rooms, offices, dedicated spaces for postgraduate students, shared student services, shared computer labs, a reception area and a ceremonial space for meetings with university visitors are also part of the plan, as is a moot courtroom and a sunken courtyard.
The tower will be linked at ground level to the existing management building.
Prof Crawford said the building would allow the Centre for Corporate and Executive Education to extend its programmes and, therefore, better serve businesses in the region.
It would also create space for new law research centres: the Maori and Indigenous Governance Centre, the Centre for Environmental Resources and Energy Law and the Waikato Management School's Institute for Business Research.
The next step in the construction process was for the university to develop a detailed design of the new building, with tendering expected to take place next year.
Construction is expected to be completed by early 2015.
"The University of Waikato is committed to delivering a world-class education and research portfolio," Prof Crawford said.
Management head of facilities John Cameron said the high-profile site would complete a string of three iconic campus facilities.
"Our architects, Opus, have provided an environmentally sustainable design featuring a green roof, natural ventilation and glazed corridor walls for natural lighting," Mr Cameron said.
"The new building will join our Student Centre, completed last year, and the first five-star green building in the Waikato region, and the award-winning Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts, overlooking the campus lakes," he said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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