Prime Minister, Rt Hon Bill English, officially opened the Kahukura Engineering and Architectural Studies facility at Ara Institute of Canterbury City Campus Christchurch today, 10 August.
The new $34m, 6500m building on Moorhouse Avenue is the jewel in the crown of a 10 year master plan of rebuilding and refurbishment across the institute’s five campuses. Kahukura was designed by Jasmax to offer students both purpose-built workshops and studios, and flexible learning spaces, that mirror industry workplace conditions.
Engineering, architectural studies, quantity surveying and interior design programmes will be taught in the Kahukura building and students have started semester two in the spacious new building, which doubles as a teaching tool.
“For students who will be designing and engineering the buildings of the future, Kahukura is an inspiring place to develop skills and awareness,” Acting Chief Executive Darren Mitchell says. “The structural elements of the building are exposed so that students can see how the elements work together on both practical and aesthetic levels. It is also a forward thinking building in terms of the materials used and the sustainable components.”
Timber dominates throughout as a structural element with other highlights the wide feature staircase, original artwork by Niki Hastings-McFall, a building facade inspired by Maori cloaks (known as kahukura) and a public exhibition space.
Powell Fenwick were the engineers and Inovo provided project management on the building.
Former Prime Minister John Key opened the Whareora, Sports and Wellbeing facility, also at the City Campus Christchurch in early 2015.
Ara has also refurbished the Woolston Campus and added new buildings and resources for trades training, is nearing completion of a North Green at the Christchurch campus, is evaluating requirements for the three southern campuses and will begin work on a Student Hub in Christchurch soon.
Photographs of this event are here.