Media Design School (part of Laureate International Universities) was previously based in an existing office tower on Albert Street. They outgrew their existing premises and with their lease about to expire, entered into an agreement with Precinct Properties to move to the commercial development on 10 Madden Street in Wynyard Quarter. The Media Design School’s vision was to be the first-choice campus for those wanting to excel in their chosen creative field. The visions for the new premises was to be an agile facility suited to international methods of learning and teaching, all within a collaborative, creative, innovative, engaging, and diverse environment. Students will reach industry standard potential, contributing their knowledge and expertise to the community and beyond.
Greenstone Group were engaged during the final stages of negotiations of the development agreement and agreement to lease between Laureate International Universities and Precinct Properties.
The base build of the project is a high profile development in a vibrant part of town known as the innovation precinct which suited Media Design School well. From a project management perspective the unique challenge was to complete a high quality integrated fit-out in cooperation with the base build team while construction was ongoing based on an existing and consented design within the constraints of the set construction programme.
The key challenge for this project was the gap between the existing specifications for the base build and the higher requirements of a tertiary educational facility. Due to the nature of a tertiary education facility the population densities were much higher than what an office building is designed for. To prevent abortive construction works and costs for our client, the fit-out design was integrated in the base build design from the start with an initial focus on building services and egress requirements.
The lease agreement between our client and the developer was reached while ground works for base build had already started. As a result we had to determine the client requirements with the greatest costs and time impact and expedite the design of those items in close cooperation with the base build team. To ensure the quality targets for the design could be met in the limited timeframe a number of the base build engineers were engaged for the fit out design team as well as reducing the time required to come up to speed with the project and streamline the coordination with the base build design.
A key learning on this project was that where client requirements exceed specifications of an existing building / design there are significant gains to be made by facilitating close interaction between the various end user groups and the building engineers early in the design phase. This enables the increased load to be spread and located where they can be accommodated with the minimum redesign and minimum impact on the client’s organisation.
An added challenge to this project was the main decision makers for our client were based overseas. Greenstone Group accommodated this with regular meetings via conference calls above and beyond the standard reporting requirements on a project, giving the client confidence in the project progression.
The state-of-the-art, purpose-built school is the only education provider to have a presence in New Zealand’s Innovation Precinct. The project was completed in time for the start of the 2021 academic year. The property has been built with sustainability and functionality at the heart of every decision and reached Green Star level 5 accreditation. Fully customised classrooms, cutting-edge technology, and thoughtfully designed, flexible working spaces come together to create a learning environment unlike any other in New Zealand.