The University of Auckland’s state-of-the-art science building, incorporating leading-edge design in teaching and learning facilities, was officially opened on 27 July.
Home to the Schools of Chemistry, Environment and Psychology, the world-class facilities have dedicated design spaces and laboratories to carry out a wide range of science research, from marine science to environment, psychology and chemical and biological sciences.
Laboratories within the building incorporate leading-edge design with an overall focus on light and space. Innovative features include an external electronic ‘traffic light’ system which constantly monitors and updates conditions in each lab, as well as flexible teaching and learning spaces on different levels.
A major feature of the new Centre is the open and welcoming aspect it provides at the south-west corner of the University campus towards Symonds St and Wellesley St and the generous public spaces that provide much needed study space for students to engage with each other and with their Science.
Revamp brings a number of science disciplines together
The project, worth over $200 million when completed, brings together scientific disciplines previously dispersed across the campus, increasing the opportunities for cross-disciplinary collaboration. The new facilities were designed by leading nationsl architectural firm Architectus.
“We are extremely proud of this wonderful new building and the superb facilities it offers to staff and students,” says Dean of Science at the University of Auckland, Professor John Hosking.
“We believe it will make a very real contribution to the excellent research produced here at Auckland while also using design features that enhance the multi-disciplinary teaching and learning approach so vital for leading universities.”
Donation helps fund new centre
The Science Centre opening also sees the launch of a new environment research centre, which was made possible with funding and support from a $5 million donation from alumnus Dr George Mason, of Taranaki, who has made contributions to New Zealand’s science community throughout his life.
The new George Mason Centre for the Natural Environment (GMCNE) will focus on protection and conservation of New Zealand’s wildlife and natural land and seascapes by producing new, independent research on restoration of species, habitat and ecosystems.