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University of Auckland, Thomas Building





Auckland, New Zealand






University of Auckland




The extension to Auckland University’s Thomas Building provided a unique opportunity to combine scientific industry with academia in a culture of collaboration.

“We wanted a building that was seamlessly connected with the existing one so that there was a freeflow across the entire complex. In the new part, we have gone for open plan while in the existing part it’s more modular; so everyone has a choice... some people need modular, exclusive space, some choose an open plan environment to maximise their interactions.”

We designed a space for the School of Biological Sciences and the Institute for Innovation in Biotechnology together with enough room for 11 companies and up to 160 additional scientists, industry staff and graduate students. Intended as a link between research and commerce, it comprises mainly of laboratories, open plan write-up spaces and research offices.


Each side of the building interacts uniquely with its environment with the whole designed to create a sense of connection with nature and the outside world. Facing Symonds Street, the building’s curved facade of overlapping solar glass protects an inner glazed wall while its aspect to the Old Government House grounds features a softer and smaller orientation. 

Linking the extension to the original building is a soaring four-storey, glass atrium. This dramatic structure is warmly spacious which maximises natural light and ventilation. It’s breadth, depth and levels of bridges, balconies and stairways encourages incidental social and professional encounters.

This project was accredited with GreenStar  - Four . 

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