The University of Auckland Recreation and Wellness Centre
World class tertiary institutions are defined not only by academic facilities but increasingly by the quality of campus life.
Most of the top 100 universities globally have invested heavily in student health and wellness, understanding that access to top quality recreational facilities is a decisive factor in student decision making and is therefore directly linked to institutional reputation and standing.
Auckland University is an urban campus that is fully meshed with the life of the city. The campus is carefully planned and densely built to make the most of scarce site areas. The Recreation and Wellness Centre is a large project with approximately 20,000m2 and the brief required that the project must be vertically ‘stacked’ to ensure operational efficiency as well as a physical ‘fit to site’. Warren and Mahoney chose to collaborate with MJMA architects, Toronto, who have successfully delivered a range of directly relevant stacked facilities in Canada and North America.
Working together, our design teams worked in a limited, invited design competition to secure the project and then progress the design. The project incorporates an 8 lane, 25m swimming pool and dive tank below ground, two sports halls, both capable of accommodating dual basketball or netball courts and a wide range of facilities for cardio fitness training, weight training, movement and circuit classes. Facilities are arranged around a clear central circulation spine to maximise operational flexibility and intuitive way-finding while minimising travel distances. Roof surfaces are also fully engaged in the life of the Centre with futsal turf and landscaped training areas occupying the ’fifth elevation’.
When completed, the centre will bind together existing academic, amenity and study facilities at the ground plane as well as ‘basement levels’, facilitating a fully connected campus – a key requirement for a secure and continuously developing tertiary institution.