Jasmax in association with laboratory specialists DJRD are currently designing the University of Canterbury’s new Regional Science and Innovation Centre. When complete, the project will provide a new, centrally located building housing teaching, laboratory and research facilities.
The project brief outlined an aspiration for the building to reflect modern pedagogy, integrated learning and social collaborative spaces around the main circulation routes and central atrium. Research and teaching functions located on the same floor further foster an integrated environment that encourages students and staff to mingle with other disciplines, facilitating the cross-fertilisation of ideas. Where possible, science and research are displayed as a central focus, enabling students to observe activity and generating excitement in the field of science.
The design response is both reflective of cultural context and environmentally sustainable. Encouraging movement up through the levels of the building, the atrium acts as a wayfinder reflective of Maori God Tawhaki’s accent of the levels of learning. Structural steel rods support a glass balustrade and form a lattice-like structure reminiscent of the vine or spider web which Tawhaki use to climb to the heavens. The Centre is designed around best building practice to limit energy use, maximise infiltration of natural light and ventilation and reuse existing materials wherever possible.
Check out how the design's coming along in this flythrough video from UCAN and DJRD.