The Tauranga Windermere Campus requires three new teaching and learning developments as part of a holistic Master Plan and Greenstone Group were engaged to provide project management services for the first building, Te Ara o Mauao.
The vision for the building was to create a modern flexible learning environment in the middle of the main campus, creating a ‘heart’ for the campus for creative art students. This building, Te Ara o Mauao, would represent the first of the three new developments hosting 230 creative arts students. The space needed to provide a place for Art & Design, Music & Radio and other disciplines of performing arts.
As a result, the building would be developed and designed to encompass a long-term vision and urban design strategy for the Campus.
Strategically, we understood that this building would represent a new student-centric environment with a focus on collaborative modern learning. We knew that there would be a challenge to connect this building cohesively with the others and so we focused on getting the design element right for our client.
We took control of the; nature of the stakeholder engagement process, development, and generation of concepts to ensure that the final facility is truly fit for purpose, context, and campus culture. Ensuring that a high-quality student-centric approach was obtained for our client.
With the budget as a project non-negotiable and the quality of the learning spaces, a fundamental driver the Te Ara o Mauao development required commitment and creativity from the whole project team with respect to cost efficiency and building performance. Anything from the; primary structure, building form, operation, material selection, and specification through to the services.
There were a number of urban design considerations and issues for this project. The Windemere campus presented a series of disconnected generally prefabricated buildings which supported a silo mentality.
Our client’s vision was for the site to be easily accessible for students so a lot of thought was put into re-connecting the Campus with its wider community, culture, and region through physical and visual campus narratives.
One of the main challenges was maintaining a fully operational campus with a high focus on student safety. We made safety a key priority for site planning and access during the Construction Phase. We working with multiple stakeholders in order to successfully deliver this project with an operational campus.
We were successful in opening up a new campus for our client, ensuring that it fits cohesively in the larger campus plan, and fit all design requirements necessary.
In addition to providing a student-centric learning environment, the building is designed to welcome, host and support industry partners, the neighbouring community and wider region through its open configuration, the flexibility of space and the quality and industry standard environments.
By way of example: on its recent completion the building hosted a range of national musicians as part of a local music festival – it was expressly noted that quality of the building’s music performance spaces had created a new and significant drawcard for the organisation and the region.
A new addition to the Windermere campus opened. The building features a sound recording studio and purpose-built art, graphic, photography and creative art spaces. It truly acts as the ‘heart’ of the campus and is a modern flexible learning environment.
It represents the start of significant change for our client. They have moved from a series of siloed prefab classrooms towards an open space. The new facility is defined as a ‘transitional’ building for them. It provides flexibility, which was a critical element in the building’s long-term strategy.
We exceeded our client’s expectations by submitting Te Ara o Mauao and getting Excellence in Education at the Property Council Industry Awards in 2017.
“The new facility is preparation for the future and a major step forward in the development of Tauranga and the wider Bay of Plenty.”
-John Cronin, Bay of Plenty Regional Councillor