College of Creative Arts

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Location: Wellington

Completed: 2013

Education; Low Damage Design

The new home of Massey University’s College of Creative Arts involved an ambitious structural form and extensive use of timber as a primary frame material. A steeply terraced site, located partly over an infilled gully, added to the complexity.

The building’s geometry posed many structural challenges. Dunning Thornton delivered on these ambitions with an innovative timber frame structure, elegantly detailed and exposed throughout the building. The tough workshop plinth contains the large-volume spaces and retains the steep topography. The studio spaces above the plinth are braced by a rocking post-tensional timber frame.

Extensive use of off-site prefabrication achieved the quality product economically, and sped up the build time on site. Close collaboration with Athfield Architects Ltd, Arrow International Ltd and key subcontractors ensured that the artistic ideals of the College are proudly exemplified in the building.

Client: Massey University
Architect: Athfield Architects
Contractor: Arrow International

Images: Trends