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Award-winning design for Dunedin art school

Media release from Otago Polytechnic
23 November 2009

Award-winning design for Dunedin art school

Dunedin’s aspiring artists searching for inspiration need look no further than the building they study in.

Otago Polytechnic’s new Art School building has won a 2009 Southern Architecture Award. The $3million building, designed by Dunedin firm McCoy and Wixon Architects, won recognition in the Public Architecture category of the awards, organised by the New Zealand Institute of Architects.

The award was presented at a ceremony held on Friday 20 November at Queenstown’s Jack’s Point Clubhouse. The building may now be considered for a New Zealand Architecture Award in 2010.

Judges described the building as a simple no-nonsense structure that allows for flexibility and lots of natural light, the overall result providing a positive and creative environment for students and staff

“It’s a really lovely space - and a building you want to smile in,” said Ms Chin, Jury Convenor and architect.

The architects describe the building as a simple two-storey ‘shed’ with unpretentious zincalume cladding which links beautifully to the existing building and successfully promotes social integration and collaboration.

Within the Art School there’s also an art gallery which can be used by staff and students year-round to exhibit their works.

Otago Polytechnic CEO Phil Ker, who was on hand to receive the award, is thrilled with the win.

“We’ve had lots of great feedback about the design so I’m delighted that John McCoy and Hamish Wixon have been recognised by their peers for the skill and effort that went into the project.”

Two hundred Otago Polytechnic art students, studying a range of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees and diplomas in visual arts, ceramic art and fine arts, are already enjoying classes in the new building which opened in February. The building is located at 15 Reigo Street, Dunedin.


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