LocationWellington, New Zealand
From the architect. The Victoria University of Wellington Student Accommodation project, Te Puni Village, is located at the southern end of the University precinct on a steeply sloping site and falling to the University’s playing field. It provides accommodation for 389 students in a mix of single bed dormitory rooms, one bed studios and 2 bedroom apartments.
The development aligns with the existing University spine and the contours which in turn have informed a 3 building composition which deliberately seeks to break down the mass of the development. The form of the village is shaped by the context.
Three separate accommodation buildings (the Terrace, the Tower and the Edge) respond to the different aspects of the site and are linked by a level containing the communal social spaces, dining hall and administration.
The smaller Terrace building fronts onto Fairlie Terrace and takes the rhythm and scale of the adjacent residential neighbours and establishes a street address for the complex. The main student entries are at lower levels relating to connections back to the main campus.
The Tower building in the middle of the site has a smaller footprint than the other two but rises higher while the Edge building aligns with and forms an edge to the playing field.
The community level which acts as the main social organiser of the complex is expressed as a transparent element which cuts through the solid massing of the buildings, it forms a datum for the hostel. Everyone comes up to, or comes down to the datum to eat, collect mail and socialise.