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Rutherford House

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Pressure on space at their Kelburn campus meant that Victoria University of Wellington were looking to expand their School of Commerce & Administration into refurbished facilities near Wellington’s railway station in what has become their Pipitea Campus. The School required high quality premises which reflected their professionalism and pedagogical models which required a variety of lecture theatre and seminar room spaces.

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The building was originally built as offices for the Government owned electricity provider, with s square plan and central core. The building is adjacent to the railway station and bus terminus at the northern end of the CBD. The areas around the building are heavily populated with pedestrian commuter traffic in a busy part of the city and redevelopment of this important commuter hub site provided the opportunity for urban repair.

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Working closely with the university and the city council we were able to find a solution which enhanced the urban environment, provided civic amenity, and created additional space for the client. By extending a fully glazed first floor breakout space over the street, a sheltered colonnade is created for pedestrians below and a public activity of the building is expressed externally. The ground floor areas are transparent and permeable, creating an inviting interior and offering passive security surveillance to both the building and the public street. Bold colour, robust materials and generous public spaces adds vibrancy to the School and the streetscape.