Massey University, Albany

The new Student Amenities Centre landscape at the Massey campus in Albany provides a social hub for the university students and teachers alike. Opened officially in March 2012.

As a central pivot point it marks the core of the student facilities and a transition from existing buildings towards ongoing expansion projects. The building provides health and counselling support and ground floor refreshment and retail activity. These open out onto a wide concourse through a covered colonnade lead out into a generous canopy area and plaza space.

In establishing a more contemporary identity, the architecture and open space takes a significant departure from its Spanish mission character. A rhythm of columns retains a colonnaded building perimeter and echoes the style of covered links elsewhere on campus. The centre cladding makes reference to the dominant terracotta roof materials and the tree species follow established patterns.

As the social and cultural heart of the campus the space provides an opportunity to embody the close relationship with Tangata Whenua. A series of seven stainless steel Pou sculptures are well spaced around the plaza. They represent the stages on the journey of learning, from inception to infinity- Te Kunenga Ki Purehuroa. The first pou has the word Kakano to represent the seeding of a thought, and the seventh and tallest has the words Tiki Tiki o Rangi, or the highest place in the heavens to represent ultimate achievement, in this case academic excellence.