The Tauranga Windermere Campus required 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’ of 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.
The building would need to 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. 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.
Greenstone took control of the stakeholder engagement process, development, and generation of concepts to ensure that the final facility was 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 being a fundamental driver of the Te Ara o Mauao development, it required commitment and creativity from the whole project team with respect to cost efficiency and building performance.
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 worked with multiple stakeholders in order to successfully deliver this project within 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 of the industry standard environments.
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.
- Excellence in Education at the NZ Property Council Industry Awards 2017