Victoria University Gateway Building
Gateway to learning
With an aspiration to become the leading provider of biological sciences education in New Zealand, Victoria University sought a state-of-the-art research and teaching facility. We embraced that vision when we were engaged to build the new School of Biological Science at their Kelburn Campus.
The 140m long, five-storey building is the University’s answer to a growing student body and is designed to maximise every available square metre of the constrained site. Its long, low design (a third of which is underground) provides 12,000m² of space for the School of Biological Sciences. Designed to embrace the unique site and its relationship with the topography, campus and the city, the structure will house flexible modern teaching and learning spaces on the upper floors and specialised research laboratories in the basement.
Designed to embrace the unique site and its relationship with the topography, campus and the city, the structure will house flexible modern teaching and learning spaces
The large structural steel frame building features dampers between the base of the truss and the column to absorb earthquake energy with the column rotating relative to the truss. These dampers will be removable and replaceable after a major event.
The building has a ‘keyhole’ through the structure which accommodates an existing operational road. The basement sits below the road level, and the teaching spaces hang above. Keeping a road live and operational during construction provides continual challenges for the construction team. To ensure that the road remains operational throughout the build, the structure is being delivered in three separate sections – north, south and infill sections.
Adding further complexity, Gateway is situated in a live university environment - meaning 25,000 students need to be kept away from construction activity and out of harm’s way. Extensive planning was required to minimise disruption to university staff and students.