31 Jul 2015
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Unitec tech hub gets underway

By Shannon Williams

Unitec has released the first designs of its new technology hub, the first major step in the education institute’s 10-year $200m campus redevelopment.

The new drawings for redesigned central Hub show a much-transformed space, Unitec says in a statement.

The new hub aims to be a modern and flexible place where students and staff can gather, study, seek support or relax.

Unitec CEO Dr Rick Ede says the changes are driven by both student and industry demand.

“The Hub is going to support our other goals for education at Unitec,” he says. “It will be technologically enabled, it will allow students to access information on their own terms, to work together and collaborate with their peers studying other courses.”

Ede  says, “It will promote a blend of online, face-to-face and collaborative learning.”

Ede says the design is a response to the demands of the modern student for an education model that better suits their needs and ways of learning, and also from employers who want students to know what it means to work with people from different backgrounds and to have soft skills like team work, collaboration and communication.

The $22m project will see the existing outdoor hub covered and new balconies installed.

Graeme Scott, director of ASC Architects which designed the new look Hub, says the design springs from the latest thinking around learning environments, and will insert new and exciting student spaces into the heart of Unitec.

“There will be a mix of spaces, ranging from café-style open environments merging with collaborative study areas, semi-enclosed library spaces, study pods overlooking the main space, and enclosed study and meeting rooms,” he says.

The new space also incorporates environmentally sustainable design features such as natural ventilation to reduce the use of air conditioning.

The area will be fenced off this August for works to begin. Full construction is scheduled to commence this summer to be ready for opening in mid-2017.

The work to the hub will precede other changes planned for the wider campus and demonstrates the direction Unitec is taking with its redevelopment.

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