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Newmarket Campus as a Porous Megaform

Part 2 Project 2014
Alexander (Sacha) Milojevic
University of Auckland Auckland New Zealand
The University of Auckland has begun to consolidate its dispersed facilities and land holdings at suburban satellite campuses onto a large [5.2 ha] former industrial brewery site less than a kilometre from its main city centre campus. A porous and layered megaform, conceptually a building without parts, is counter-proposed. In the way that knowledge sharing in the earliest urban civilisations developed compact, cellular but fused Neolithic architectural formations, as at Çatalhöyük and Lepenski Vir, Newmarket Campus is imagined as an interdisciplinary teaching campus in the form of a dense contiguous and fused aggregation of strongly interconnected elements. Open air courts, assembly and commons, offices, laboratories, workshops, studios and galleries, student centres, a bus and rail station, parking, shops and cafes, and a labyrinthine pedestrian network are excavated from a geological whole. Schools and departments overlap and share accommodation in an interconnected form which opens into its urban context at key places. Entry into, around and through the campus is rhizomic as in a Situationist derive. The campus is a low dense accessible urban quarter which extends the permeability of its immediate context into and from a constellation of hybrid academic-public courts. Walking up out of the park at a corner of the site pedestrian and visual links to the University’s adjacent Heath Sciences Campus are established by a wide ramp leading up and across public rooftop garden terraces to four student dormitory towers. Distinct atmospheres are achieved through tectonic and material particularity. The interstitial spaces, moments of structural porosity, are as important as the enclosed/solid spaces. Cast aluminium and nylon models explore the tectonics, materiality and furnishing of a variety of spatial moments: open spaces, programmatic places, and rooms for gathering in different numbers and for different purposes as well as quiet study. Renders of complex multiple level conditions and special rooms explore the interconnectedness of the whole, the substantiality of construction, daylighting, and both the clarity and the plasticity of form. In making a special academic place apart as well as a distinctive component of the city, this project proposes an academic quarter as a public urban landform.
Alexander (Sacha) Milojevic


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