Other formats

    Adobe Portable Document Format file (facsimile images)   TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Vol. 38 No. 22. September 11, 1975

Building Daydreams for V.U.W

page 3

Building Daydreams for V.U.W.

Earthworks in progress for School of Architecture's $1.5 million laboratory

Earthworks in progress for School of Architecture's $1.5 million laboratory

Underutilised carparking for select academics

Underutilised carparking for select academics

Victoria University has a School of Architecture and it can be found at 91 Kelburn Parade, although at present it is catering only for students in the first year of the Bachelor of Building Science degree. The Victoria school was created to increase the future supply of architects and to make available more places for those wishing to take architecture. In 1974 there were 240 applicants for the 80 positions at the Auckland school, at that time the only school in New Zealand.

The School says it "will experience a period of rapid growth with more students, more staff and more courses coming in each year (see Table 1 — Ed). There will be an inescapable feeling in the School of newness and urgency, experimentation and search, of youth and drive, which we hope to maintain and renew for many years to come."

The feeling of newness and urgency is definitely inescapable, the School of Architecture will have a new three storied building costing over $½ million to be completed by mid-1976. It has been designed by Kingston Reynolds Thorn and Allardice who are the characters responsible for a good deal of the concrete mess that is Victoria. For once KRTA have recognised that 'the scale of adjoining development is domestic in character' and have designed a building that while being more functional than attractive is by no means their usual concrete and glass monster.

They have also noted that 'there are a number of specimen trees of amenity value in the SE corner of the site which should be retained.' How a tree actually performs an 'amenity' is questionable and in fact they appear to be referring to two large pine trees. What is not so questionable is that a considerable amount of vegetation has disappeared not only in the eathworks for this new building but for several carparks nearby which are for the most part hardly used because non-staff cars are towed away.

The building itself will consist of a materials testing laboratory running the entire length of the building divided into three bays and two floors in height. Off this there will be equipment storage bays and the top floor will have seven staff studies as well as an acoustics, a lighting and a design lab that will double as tutorial/seminar rooms. The building itself will be a very specialised structure housing such equipment as a wind tunnel and being equipped with special hoists.

Future expansion of the School of Architecture includes 83 Fairlie Terrace which is presently occupied by the German and Russian Departments which will be shifted to Siberia . . . whoops, the Von Zedlitz Tower A similar fate awaits 93 Kelburn Parade which is presently occupied by Drama House The fact that these houses have been taken over is not necessarily as bad as it would at first seem. The renovations that have been carried out at 91 Kelburn Parade are a result of the efforts of the Dean and his wife who are both architects. They have retained the non-oppressive domestic character of the building's exterior and at the same time have created an incredibly comfortable environment for the students to work in. In startling contrast to the dusty, bleak and sparsely furnished houses of Sociology, or to the cramped and sterile tutorial rooms along Kelburn Parade, the School of Architecture has carpeted floors, extremely efficient heating and ventilation, bright white paint and modern plaster tile ceilings with flourescent fittings. It has a large "Exhibition" foyer featuring pot plants and McCahon among others from the library art collection. It is as if the School of Architecture were a prestige department.

For many of the smaller departments the School of Architecture may be the answer in terms of presenting an amenable student environment that does not clash with the campus surrounds at the same time.

On the other hand it is perhaps ironical that the School of Architecture which is sited adjacent to the Creche in Fairlie Terrace has received a considerable amount of money and attention, including over $.5 million for a new laboratory, when the yearly intake of students is only thirty. Would the University authorities allocate a fraction of this amount to a greater number of students who would utilise the facilities of the Creche, or could it be that the University Administration turns a blind eye to the needs of mothers and kids in their lust to acquire greater status and prestige for their university.