The University of Waikato - Law & Management Building


The 6000sqm purposed built school is an expression of the way we learn and relate to our environment; the synergy between traditional Maori and modern tertiary educative processes. By incorporating bi-culturalism into the heart of the design concept, it formed the basis of the building’s design that is conducive to holistic learning. Journeying through spaces is a choreographed experiencing of discovery and realisation. The cultural significance of experiential learning is silently felt as one moves through the spaces - deliberately subtle yet compelling.

On approach at ground level, an open green expanse contrasts the grounded, monolithic form and subtle hints of a courtyard below. Working with the natural landform which slopes toward the East, the building’s social spaces are arranged toward this orientation and open up to capture the view of a distant mountain range. The journey descends to the feature sunken courtyard where natural light plays poetically with deep shadows, connecting the new law faculty with the existing Management School.

Throughout this building, the spatial experience is accentuated by the emphasis of light and shadows to provide a cognitive understanding of the building’s program. The building’s monolithic facade expresses a sense of permanence and stature, fitting to the faculty’s prominence within the campus.