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$1m Makeover For Auckland School Of Architecture

$1m Makeover For University Of Auckland School Of Architecture

The University of Auckland's School of Architecture has given its computer studios a $1million makeover.

Its four-level computer studio has been totally redesigned and refitted to accommodate up to 420 students.

With 160 computer terminals and an intake of 320 architecture students this year, the school now boasts a ratio of up to one computer between two students.

Associate Head of the School, Brian Taggart says the School's hardware and software are unrivalled.

"We are already one of the largest Architecture Schools in Australasia. Our technology facilities and student-computer ratio are now beyond those of any other School in the Southern Hemisphere."

Through the multi-level studio, students have access to nine different architectural modelling and drafting software programmes, including Architecture Desk Top (ADT), Archicad and 3D Studio Max.

They also have 12 multi-media programmes and five environmental and structural architecture programmes, all on top of standard Microsoft Office and Internet applications.

Mr Taggart says the refurbishment reflects industry trends toward computer-based design.

"It is critically important that architecture students have at their fingertips the latest architectural technologies being used in the workplace.

"We are preparing our students not only for the current architecture environment but also for the industry in five or ten years time."

With new lighting, natural and mechanical ventilation, comfort cooling and new purpose-designed furniture, the cost of the upgrade was over $1million.

There is also an anticipated $500,000 annual rolling investment to keep the computer hardware and software at the leading edge of available technology.

"Our intention is not only to bring our studios in line with current architecture technology, but to keep them at the cutting edge.

The total area refitted is 1,880 square metres.

In addition to new computers, the studios also contain drawing boards for drafting and sketching, and painting tables.

"It's important that students don't lose the ability to produce hand-drawn designs. Our aim is to train students in both electronic and physical design so they can use these skills in a complementary way.

"Different clients need to see designs in different ways and we need to be able to provide that."

The School of Architecture offers a five-year Bachelor of Architecture degree and a three-year Bachelor of Architecture Studies degree. The Bachelor of Architecture is a professionally accredited degree.

Photograph caption (photo attached separately to email): University of Auckland Architecture student Phoebe Fu (front right) at work in the School of Architecture's new computer studio. Behind are (left to right) fellow students Marie Breustedt, Jonathan Gibb and Joyce Chen.


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