Building Programme

This programme began in 2015 and concluded with the opening of our brand new Engineering building in time for Semester One, 2020.

A view of the new building from Grafton Road.

The Building Programme is now complete, with Building 405 opening in time for Semester One 2020. It boasts tailor-made spaces to support learning, accommodate larger student cohorts, and encourage collaboration. Developed with our student community in mind, it boasts brand new teaching facilities, as well as open spaces and breakout rooms for students to socialise, study — either solo or in groups — and to relax.

The building process involved thousands of hours of engagement with faculty staff through design meetings, purchasing new equipment, relocating labs and offices across our other campuses, demolition, construction, and finally, bringing everyone back to their new City Campus home. Staff and postgraduate students were officially relocated in Building 405 in mid-January 2020.

Building 405, in numbers

  • 11 floors
  • Over 30,000 square metres
  • Over 25 Multi-Disciplinary Learning Spaces
  • Over 50 specialist research laboratories
  • Two lecture theatres and two seminar rooms
  • Over 150 staff desks
  • Over 450 postgraduate write-up desks
  • Six student collaboration spaces
  • Over 700 new items of equipment for new labs
  • 3,300 tonnes of structural steel
  • 40 kilometres of pipes
  • 12 kilometres of ducts
  • Eight kilometres of secondary steel beams
  • Almost one million man-hours
  • Over 3,000 Health and Safety inductions

Our focus: teaching and learning

One of our MDLS.

A major feature of Building 405 is its conscious purpose for teaching and learning. The first new facilities associated with the then-ongoing project were the Multi-Disciplinary Learning Spaces (MDLS). The first four were completed by 2018. 

With easily movable furniture and equipment, the MDLS concept provided unique opportunities to configure rooms to suit the needs of different disciplines. These spaces were designed to play the pivotal role in our curriculum development; they will engage approximately 4,000 undergraduate students every year in active learning within authentic contexts. 

For the past several years, the MDLS have become the high-energy home to teaching activities for first year students, build and design events, and public seminars during our University Open Days.  

The past, present and future

One of many decals featured in Building 405.

While we are a top research institute in Aotearoa New Zealand, the faculty acknowledges our strained cultural history. In our journey to move forwards, we consulted our Māori community and ensure they are as visible throughout Building 405 as their roles in Aotearoa’s future. Towering over the Grafton Road entrance is our pou whenua created by master craftsman Delani Brown, and throughout the building’s interiors are bespoke decals — featuring elements associated with our faculty and its five departments — symbolic of our place in Aotearoa and our communities.

We also formally introduced Building 405 as Te Herenga Mātai Pūkaha, the Māori name for the Faculty of Engineering, and its opening and dawn blessing was followed by the debut of our Engineering Haka, Me Hoki Whakamuri Kia Anga Whakamua.

Bringing engineering to our community

A new building brings us new outreach opportunities. Beyond teaching and learning, we have incorporated architectural features with our vision of Visible Engineering in mind. To align with this vision, glass facades and windows in the hallways through our departmental labs allow everyday glimpses of engineering in action.

We have also been — and will be carrying on with — running tours of our City Campus for students, parents, alumni, industry, and more. We hope to see you at a session someday.