New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has officially opened Victoria University of Wellington’s new home for the School of Biological Sciences, Te Toki a Rata.
Te Toki a Rata, designed by Warren and Mahoney Arcitects and constructed on the University’s Kelburn campus, forms the gateway to the sciences precinct and offers students and professors a range of uses including modern research and teaching laboratories, plant growth glass houses, write up spaces, general teaching spaces, and office accommodation.
Te Toki a Rata incorporates a number of teaching spaces that are based on collaborative, flexible learning. In particular, the teaching laboratories are a move away from traditional rows of lab benches, to clusters with touch screens, USB connected microscopes, and large perimeter displays. This enables interactive learning, with groups sharing with the rest of class what they have found.
Nick Baty, Technical Director – Building Services Engineer, said, “The building is designed to support this style of learning via the provision of high capacity fibre optic communications infrastructure, with substantial WiFi coverage. It is important to Victoria University that their facilities are aligned with the latest international thinking so that they can attract top students and staff, which in turn leads to cutting edge research”.
Following on from completion of the Victoria University Hub and Alan MacDiarmid buildings, Beca have demonstrated its ability to deliver a leading edge laboratory on a technically challenging site with steep contours, tight district planning restrictions, and a residential boundary.
Beca have been able to demonstrate its values of partnership and tenacity by taking ownership of particular project challenges, and maintaining a key core team over this five year project. Beca will continue to support Victoria University with fine tuning and monitoring of energy use as their School of Biological Sciences settles into its new home.
Beca is honoured to have supplied a range of services including Electrical, Lighting, Communications, Electronic Security, Mechanical, Hydraulics, Laboratory Gases and Fume Cupboards Dispersion Modelling.
Images courtesy of Paul McCredie Photographer and Warren and Mahoney Architects.