Friday 18 December 2009 2:36pm
The flagship building has been designed by the well known architectural firm, Warren and Mahoney, to provide facilities for the University’s Foundation Studies programme and for the Unipol Gymnasium. The building will provide the west wall of the stadium, and will open on to the University Plaza. In addition to teaching and learning facilities and the gymnasium and recreation space, there will be a physiotherapy clinic and a café open to the public as well as students. Construction is planned to begin in May 2010, with completion by August 2011.
Releasing the design, Vice-Chancellor Professor David Skegg said the new building and the adjoining University Plaza will be wonderful assets for both the University and the community. “The architects have done an excellent job in accommodating our academic and recreational requirements in a striking building. The building has an academic presence and will be faced in Oamaru stone.”
The facilities for Foundation Studies will provide for modern methods of teaching and learning, with breakout spaces and informal learning areas. The Unipol facilities will include two gymnasiums and two cardio weights areas, as well as a large multi-purpose space where team sports can take place.
“The University of Otago will be very fortunate to have a major learning and recreational facility next to a world-class covered stadium,” said Professor Skegg.
“This will be one of the most exciting developments on our campus for decades. Recently I visited two Ivy League universities in the United States and realised that the stadium rising on the edge of our campus will be far superior to theirs. The world’s leading universities have always pursued the ideal of a healthy mind in a healthy body, and this complex at the University Plaza will be unparalleled in the Southern Hemisphere. It will undoubtedly help to ensure that Dunedin attracts the best possible students from around New Zealand and internationally.”
The project is timely, as the need to accommodate growth and provide additional space becomes more urgent each year. Eventually a second building will be constructed at a right-angle to the first building, providing an L-shaped development at the University Plaza.
“Foundation Studies and Unipol have both outgrown their current buildings. Not only will they benefit from the excellent new facilities, but the space freed up by this development will help to meet some of the critical space needs of academic departments elsewhere on the campus,” concluded Professor Skegg.
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The approximate GFA (Gross Floor Area) of the building is 9663 m2. The outlined development is stage one of a two stage project. It is stage one of the project which is illustrated in the concept sketches provided.
The dedicated Plaza area is intended to be owned in common with the DCC.
In April 2009 the University purchased an area of land to the west of the main stadium complex.
The architects for the project are New Zealand firm, Warren and Mahoney. They are assisted by the Dunedin firm, McCoy and Wixon, who have designed several buildings on the University campus.
Unipol is a sports and recreation centre, which currently accommodates for over 400,000 visits a year. The centre’s current space is a converted factory on Anzac Avenue which is shared by University and Polytechnic students. The site offers no room to expand.
Foundation Studies has approximately 500 students enrolled. Their current building was designed to accommodate up to 200 students. Foundation Studies has close links with the College of Education, the new site will allow the two facilities to be within close walking distance of each other.