AUT Lecture Theatres & Conference Centre

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AUT Lecture Theatres & Conference Centre
AUCKLAND UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY LECTURE THEATRES AND EXHIBITION CENTRE Completed 2009 The building attempts a solution for a type of multi-mode architecture that allows the university the necessary fluidity to adapt to its ever changing functional and economic environment. The evolving nature of tertiary institutions and the growing needs of this university defined a programme for a versatile building that would house both lecture theatre teaching spaces, a multi-purpose foyer space that could be transformed for various modes of operation and lastly a much needed outdoor plaza space for students to gather and occupy. The building houses two lecture theatres - one 150-seat and one 300-seat - as well as the large format foyer space which allows the building to operate in either full conference mode or as a breakdown of smaller functions such as seminar spaces, exhibition spaces or banquet spaces. A north facing plaza occupies the land contained by an existing building and the new building providing much needed urban space for student social activities. The University began life by colonising a defunct Teachers College and after a period of rapid growth the institution’s inherited facilities were no longer coping with the requirements of a modern progressive tertiary campus. This new facility allows for a packed daytime timetable of lectures and seminars while concurrent sessions may also take place behind reconfigurable walls within the foyer space. Or, after hours, catered banquets or exhibitions can take place in the same space allowing the institution to economically benefit from the cross-over function. The landscaped piazza provides a variety of shaded and open seating areas and performance spaces for the full complement of formal and informal activities throughout the academic year. The building is a sustainable design; equivalent 5 greenstar NZGBC. Its sustainable initiatives comprise: rainwater harvesting, warm air purging, low embodied energy material selection, high efficiency lighting technology, low-e glass, recycled materials and waste amongst others. The confused and aging urban fabric of this tertiary campus coupled with the messy technical and philosophical requirements of the digital age of tertiary education and economic operation requirements allows this building to transpose complexity for simplicity; in both function and architecture.

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