Latest news on the Ara Campus Master Plan

16 January 2019

Rakaia Centre Refresh Update

Rakaia Centre Refresh Update

The goal for the Rakaia Centre Refresh project is a relaxed and welcoming environment for new students.

Repair and refurbishment work is now entering its second stage in the Rakaia Centre/ALX block.

The refresh is part of comprehensive transformation work at Ara that will facilitate the student journey from first contact to graduation. Clearer signage, improved layout of services and more vibrant interior design will create an excellent first impression for prospective students as soon as they enter the Rakaia Centre.

The imitation grass that now curves around the outer edges of the main space introduces a fun, informal feel, while new carpet tiles being laid in the adjoining rooms create bold patterns in gradients of colour. A living wall will complement the organic palette and interesting feature furniture will further enliven the main spaces. The design, by Interior Designer Tania Gorton from Nextdore and PORCELANOSA, creates a lighter and brighter space, and more of a student-centered identity for the Rakaia Centre.

The Security Office has been relocated across the Rakaia Centre and a new one-stop Student Information Hub will be developed in this area. Hub staff will advise students and guide them to nearby services including Admissions & Enrolments, the Career Centre, Student Finance and Student Central.  

The refresh project incorporates external and internal painting, repairs to the atrium, improvements to the heating/cooling system and brand new sliding doors to enhance the indoor/outdoor flow. New directional signage will be installed soon, with features on the internal pillars to enhance the visual impact.

The remaining work is being timed to cause the least disruption to incoming students and staff working in the Rakaia Centre, with a completion date estimated for late February.

See the video of the new look Rakaia Centre

Previous years


3 December 2018

City campus landscaping work



The new High Street entry and the Southern Spine stages of the City Campus landscaping programme begin on 8 October and will continue for some seven months. This work will enhance the campus, repair underground earthquake damage and improve accessibility. Read more about the project here.

There will be some disruption during this time, particularly around access across the campus.

The Pantry and Ihutai building (U Block) will be accessed through the side door of Visions, adjacent to the North Green.

The Kahukura will be accessed from the door facing towards Madras Street.

The ‘spine’ area to be upgraded runs from the North Green, between Te Puna Wanaka (TM Block) and the Rakaia Centre (ALX Block) and past Te Waka Piki Kōtuku (the Early Learning Centre). The path turns towards Tahatika (C Block) and straightens again to continue between Te Pūtahi (E Block) and Tahatika/Marokura (D Block), finishing at the entrance of Kahukura (K Block).

This area will be closed while work is underway. There will several access points:

  • from Williams Street through to the Rakaia Centre
  • from E Block through to C Block.

Updates will be available on Infoweb (for colleagues) and on MyDay (for students), as well as on digital signage and social media. For more information, please contact the Planning Office -

1 November 2018

City Campus landscaping work has begun


Update: Visible digging work, for drainage purposes, has begun this week, starting near Kahukura, following design and planning stages. As previously advised (by Important Notice), the new High Street entry and the Southern Spine stages of the City Campus landscaping programme will continue for some seven months and there will be some disruption. 

Please see the access points information below.


11 September 2018

Manawa, health research and education hub, is now open


Manawa, the state-of-the-art hub for health research and education in Christchurch’s Health Precinct, held a short blessing ceremony on Friday 6 July, ahead of opening its doors to health students, researchers, educators and technical staff in the coming weeks.

Staff from all three organisations attended the blessing, alongside local hapu leadership, with representatives from building developers New Urban Group, architects Sheppard & Rout, Southbase Construction and many other organisations involved in the project.

Read more:

23 May 2018

Health Research Education Facility update

There is an enormous amount of work underway as we prepare to move Nursing, Midwifery and Medical Imaging staff and students to the new Health Research Education Facility (HREF) during semester 2.

Practical completion of the building on the corner of Tuam and Antigua Streets is due on 1 June, and then the FFE (furniture, fittings and equipment) will be installed. The building will be blessed on 6 July, after which date staff from Ara, CDBH and UC can move into and begin working in the building. A Public Open Day is being planned for October.

HREF Antigua Street

HREF puts Ara students at the centre of developments in health research and training. They will be co-located with health professionals and have access to top simulation facilities. We will aim to maximise awareness of this through engagement and communications.

Workstreams are aligning our processes with those of our partners to ensure smooth functioning of the spaces and the facility when we move in.

Workstreams include:

  • Building Management
  • Communication
  • Design
  • Financials
  • Health & Safety
  • Furniture
  • ICT-AV
  • Security management
  • Simulation & supplies
  • Timetabling

Various teams have also been working with colleagues and students who are moving to HREF to keep them up to date on progress and consult on the processes.

The move in dates currently planned for are:

  • 9 July – Medical Imaging, Midwifery staff & students and some departmental admin staff
  • 10 September – Bachelor of Nursing, Post Graduate Diploma in Nursing and Diploma in Enrolled Nursing staff and students

*this is subject to change with the priority being a smooth transition for students.


6 December 2017


The landscaping and roading work has been completed at Woolston Campus and a blessing to open the new heartspace (landscaped area) was held on Monday 4 December at 9.30am, attended by staff and students.

The heartspace is a refreshing green space in the middle of the campus, featuring a basketball hoop and mini court.

Roading on the campus is all but completed and has reverted to a two-way system. The new carpark means that the campus has 94 additional carpark spaces.

Two final projects to underway at Woolston are the wayfinding signage around campus and the upgrade to the VP (plumbing) barn with three new classrooms and improving the drainage practical (sandpit) area.

See Campus Master Plan - Latest News for more updates and Campus Master Plan - Woolston Campus for more about Woolston Campus work.

9 November 2017


Ara is fulfilling its commitment to replace the memorial element of Memorial Hall, which was badly damaged in the Canterbury Earthquakes.  Julie Humby our Art Curator travelled to Napier to check on the progress and quality of the laser cut designs prior to these being prepared for transport. The designs have been cut from Corten steel and will undergo a month long conditioning/weathering process before being assembled and transported to Christchurch.

Art & Design students were encouraged to submit designs for the Memorial, with three being selected.  One of these designs has been created in both English and Māori.  Ara alumni and artist Dallas Matoe also contributed two designs for the Memorial.

A fourth student design, ‘Letter to Mother’ depicted an actual hand written letter from a soldier to his mother was greatly liked, but unfortunately unable to be used, due to the requirements of the steel cutting process and compromises that would have needed to be made to the final design

The assembled Corten steel panels will form pillars to be incorporated in the new North Green.  The memorial pillars, which will be lit from above, will be installed late November 2017, with a blessing and unveiling to be arranged in conjunction with the RSA at the end of November.

Selected and approved designs:

Selected designs

27 June 2017

North Green

The North Green is expected to be completed by the end of August, subject to suitable weather for laying grass. Final works to the main northern corridor are nearing completion with coloured concrete and waster blasted strips now being installed. The half-court basketball area has taken shape and work is beginning on final preparations for planting and grassed areas.

The public outdoor sculpture by our very own Bing Dawe will be installed by mid-July. The memorial garden is nearing the end of design stage with student involvement adding intrigue to this important component of the North Green.

Read more about the North Green here.

The next stages of the Campus Development Plan, the reserve to the north of the North Green and the connection between the North Green and Kahukura, are currently in the design stages.

17 March 2017


Work is progressing well on Kahukura, the new Engineering and Architectural Studies building that is now highly visible on Moorhouse Avenue, City Campus Christchurch.

This gallery shows how the interior is shaping up.

Students will be learning in these awesome spaces from the start of semester 2 in early July..

New student accommodation on track

Three new buildings underway on the site adjacent to Te whare o Ōtautahi/Ōtautahi House, on the corner of St Asaph Street and Madras Street, will provide an additional 120 beds for student accommodation.

The first two buildings are due for completion on 21 December with a third following for March 2017. Ōtautahi Education Development Trust owns the buildings and leases them to Ara for use by full time students.

Construction is progressing well with the re-cast panels in place and the roof already one building.

O House

Read more here: Te whare o Ōtautahi/Ōtautahi House 


9 November 2016

The new North Green: greener, more attractive campuses at Ara

Designs for the new North Green have now been finalised and they include spaces for relaxation, contemplation and recreation.  A memorial garden, a new sculpture and a mini basketball court are incorporated into the exciting plans developed by Align Landscape Design.

Development of the area (located between N&S blocks, U Block, T Block, the new Te Kei, and ALX) is the first stage of Campus Development Project at the Ara City Campus, which involves landscaping and wayfinding signage to create more attractive campuses that are easily navigated. Work on stage 1 begins in early December and is expected to be completed in March 2017. It will be completed in three phases to accommodate the construction happening alongside the site at Te Kei.

Consultants at Align have worked hard to create a design that fulfils a number of needs within a concise budget of $2.3m that also includes repair work under the ground to stormwater drains.

Recreational use was high on the agenda along with safety; there is a quarter basketball court to encourage students to be active in their breaks, outdoor furniture and lawns for relaxing with friends and a flexible staging area that will be used for bands and performances.

Attractive spaces will be created with feature lighting, native planting, clear access routes and timber seating. While 14 trees will be removed, including some damaged by a hangi pit, another 25 will be planted.

Stage 2 is the South Green, which is scheduled for 2019 – 20.

Memorial garden

This space for contemplation is to honour the memory of those past students who lost their lives in the service of their country.

Art & Design students will be invited to submit proposals for designs to be cut out of seven corten steel pillars. The simple plinth concept and material echoes Chris Reddington’s sculpture Song Song (A Musical Bridge), which stands near the main entrance of the Rakaia Building to commemorate past staff and students who lost their lives in the February earthquake in Christchurch.

Jasmine features through the garden to create a pleasant environment, and to fulfil a commitment to an accessible campus that caters to Blind and Deaf students through the sensory channels of smell and touch.

In addition to the memorial garden, the carved honour board of those who died in the wars, which was refurbished and re-gilded for the centenary of the Christchurch Technical College (now Ara) in 2006, is now proudly displayed in a prominent position in the Rakaia Building at Madras Street. The memorial plaques that were in the former Memorial Hall were returned to the RSA and incorporated into a centenary memorial.

New sculpture artwork

Endangered native birds of Canterbury’s braided rivers and particularly the Waimakariri feature in a new outdoor sculpture by Ara art tutor and prominent New Zealand artist Bing Dawe.

Continuing in the spirit of Dawe’s series A Landscape With Too many Holes, the work features two four metre high towers that curve skywards to form an arch. At the top of the towers, shapes of birds will be cut out and suspended alongside, as if released. The forms are recognisable as wrybill plover, the black-billed gull, the south Island pied oyster-catcher, the banded dotterel and the pied stilt – all listed as endangered or critically endangered.

“My main focus as an artist is in this series of works to bring these birds to the publics’ attention and through familiarity and the ability to identify, gain some empathy and understanding. The more we are aware the more likely we are to participate in initiatives to prevent this decline,” Dawe says.


In December, the area will be fenced off and site cabins installed. Where required, temporary egress arrangements and alterations shall be made to fit around the programme of works. This applies mainly to T Block, U Block and ALX.


The North Green will be completed in stages to accommodate the adjacent Te Kei construction.

  • Site strip of hard landscaping and street furniture – December 2016 to January 2017
  • Complete main stormwater realignment and power/comms along ALX block – February 2017 – March 2017
  • Hard landscaping of main pathways – February – March 2017 – northern zone
  • Soft landscaping northern zone – March 2017
  • Hard landscaping of main pathways – March – April 2017 – southern zone
  • Soft landscaping southern zone – April 2017
  • Artwork installation May 2017
  • Project completion and handover late May 2017

30 August 2016

Ara Workspace Strategy


The Ara Workspace Strategy has just been released and it signals a new direction – away from the traditional tertiary office space and towards non-hierarchical, team-based spaces.

The strategy is about creating an environment and culture that supports excellence in the delivery of innovative, flexible and modern learning. It is also intended to stimulate debate, analysis and evaluation that will contribute to the best design of our new facilities.

Wellness aspects such as natural light, outlook, air quality, comfort and sustainable materials are considered along with space allocation and functionality.

Principles of the strategy have already been implemented in the new Whareora (Science and Wellbeing facility) and at the Woolston campus. The strategy is now informing design work for the new Kahukura (Engineering and Architectural Studies) and Te Kei (Administration hub) buildings, currently under construction.

16 May 2016

Woolston Campus - V Block refurbishment

Woolston Campus Open Plan office

Some 100 trades tutors and managers are moving into bright, airy new office spaces as a major refurbishment for V Block at the Woolston Campus, Christchurch, nears completion.

Ara is moving toward open, flexible, inclusive and collaborative working environments to support a more team-based approach. For trades staff this has necessitated a shift in thinking from small offices to larger, collaborative environments. Greater use of technology means that staff have also been able to re-evaluate the need for traditional paper based manuals in favour of online resources.

Six of eight new staff spaces have been made available as final details are added to the workspaces and staff move into the new spaces.

The V Block refurbishment includes four new meeting rooms, a computer lab, a new Electrical lab, a wallpapering room, two teaching spaces and a light board room, plus upgraded furniture in the staff room in line with new furniture guidelines. The lecture theatre will also be upgraded as part of the project.

New learning spaces V233 and V235 will have new audio visual equipment installed ready for the second week of term 2. In other updates, the portable buildings VM, VJ and VL are close to all being moved, which has involved relocating trees, removing some trees and planting new trees.

The refurbishment work is part of an $18.9m upgrade at the campus that the government funded to support trades training. This programme, which falls under Ara's Campus Master Plan work, has included three new buildings and extensive refurbishment of existing buildings at the Woolston Campus.

6 January 2016

Te Kei design finalised

The design is finalised; the new Athfield Architects designed Te Kei building (Administration Hub) on CPIT's Madras Street campus is a move towards flexible, open plan offices.

Workspaces, informal spaces, reception, storage and meeting spaces have been carefully arranged in the two storey building that will, by the end of 2016, house the Executive team, Human Resources, Finance, Skills for Canterbury, Marketing and the Project Management Office. These teams are currently located at ALX, C Block and ML Block across Madras Street.

Te Kei design finalised

View of Te Kei, the Administration Hub, from Coventry Street.

The move will bring these functions together for better collaboration in purpose built spaces. Future occupants of Te Kei have been visiting open plan workspaces around Christchurch to get a feel for what elements are most beneficial to this way of working. Some of the sites visited include the Epic hub, Christchurch City Council and Deloittes.

The current developed design includes the first floor featuring an atrium, 348sqm of open plan workspace, a collaboration space, two quiet rooms, an interview room and four meeting rooms of various sizes. The second floor comprises seven executive offices, 259sqm of open plan workspace, three meeting rooms, a collaboration space and a communal kitchen area.

The 1720sqm hub is located on the site of the former recreation centre and will sit alongside the north green, a large landscaped area.

Light and airy on the inside, the building utilises passive solar shading for better efficiency.

The name, Te Kei, means the bow of the canoe, where people in leadership would sit, and it is designed to stylistically complement its neighbour Te Puna Wanaka.

Several areas of CPIT already utilise open plan workspaces. Open plan offices have also been introduced in the new Te Whareora (Science and Wellbeing Facility) which opened in February 2015 and are a feature of the refurbishment now underway at the Trades Campus.

Check out the gallery of images on CPIT's Facebook page.


23 December 2015

V Block Redevelopment Update

It's all happening at CPIT Trades – while the study year has wound down, redevelopment work has ramped up.

This year we have completed the new trade hall extension to VE Bloc with additional seminar spaces, flexible workspaces and a speciality enamel painting room.

In V Block, contractors from Hawkins are now demolishing and stripping out much of the lower floor of V Block ready to create new open plan office spaces and on the upper floor upgrading the learning spaces. Trades staff have been kept up to date with the work leading up to the Christmas break.
It's all part of the Campus Master Plan programme of new construction and refurbishment across both campuses.

The lecture theatre V218 is being completely refurbished from flooring through to air handling units with new seating and AV equipment.

Additional blended delivery teaching spaces will be added through the current build programme providing expanded capacity for distance learning from the Trades Campus. As part of the Trades Campus Redevelopment all portable buildings will be removed and the VB barn will be demolished to make way for a new heart space landscaped area between VF, V and VE blocks. This will include a half basketball court and outdoor furniture.

The current programme is intended to carry on to end of June. Most of the V Block refurbishment is scheduled to be completed by the end of March. Also on the campus we will be building a new carpark adjacent to Sullivan Avenue and a new carpark on the southern side next to the railway.  Between them they will add over 100 carparks to the campus. And we will connect the Sullivan Avenue entrance to the Ensors Road entrance via a new one way circuit road around VE Block.

The existing VE tutorial spaces will be refurbished in the new year. And we will upgrade learning facilities in VP Barn. We look forward to welcoming students to our updated Trades Campus in 2016.

20 November 2015

Strong foundations for new Engineering and Architectural Studies building

concrete pour at Kahukura

The foundations for the new Engineering and Architectural Studies building are underway.

CPIT's project management office estimates that 637,000kg of concrete will be poured for the Kahukura (Engineering and Architectural Studies) building foundations from 12 November

Scheduled for completion at the end of 2016, the 6550m2 building incorporates clever planning for innovative teaching and learning spaces. The design by Jasmax Architects responds to a brief that called for connection to community, a space to support CPIT's innovation and sustainability ethos, flexible spaces and a building that inspires teaching and learning.

Facing busy Moorhouse Avenue, the construction site is visible behind a shipping container walkway that doubles as an outdoor exhibition space for art and design students' work.

Interesting facts:

  • 637,000kg concrete is going into the foundations, that's 60 trucks worth.
  • 290 trees with an average age of 25 years will be used for the LVL Columns for the frame, all of which come from a sustainable source. Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL) is an engineered wood product that provides a consistent, high-performance alternative to solid lumber and steel in structural uses.
  • 50 years is the minimum designed lifespan of the building.
  • 100 tonnes of reinforcing steel in the foundation, which is enough to reach to Ashburton.
  • 6550m2 floorspace over three stories.

20 October 2015

CPIT considers landscape designs

CPIT's Campus Master Plan redevelopment aims to create more attractive campuses with innovative and flexible learning spaces.

To complete this work Align international landscaping consultants were contracted in October 2014 to revitalise the Madras Street campus, and BECA, the company project managing new building construction at CPIT Trades, were charged with overseeing the new 'heartspace' landscaping development at the trades campus.

In creating inspiring environments, there are a number of considerations:

  • Combining landscaping work with repairs of underground services
  • Coordinating landscaping with new building construction work
  • Stakeholders input
  • Integrating various functions of outdoor spaces
  • Creating attractive, relaxing spaces
  • Considering artworks and cultural elements
  • Balancing the wish list with the budget
  • Safety and lighting
  • Ongoing maintenance requirements

CPIT has supplied a brief and considered designs created by Align and Beca.

At this stage, plans are coming together and a Landscaping Project Coordination Group (PCG) will soon be formed to implement the plans.

10 August 2015

Design for flight inspires new building sculpture 

CPIT's new Engineering and Architectural Studies facility will feature an artwork based on one of the natural world's most incredible structures – the feather.

Prominent New Zealand artist Niki Hastings-McFall was inspired by the function of the new building and the building's name, Kahukura, which refers to a chiefly cloak made of feathers, a rainbow and the ancestor of the Cashmere Hills, which the building looks towards.

"Because this work is to be positioned in a facility dedicated to architecture and engineering I wanted to create work that referred to the construction, design, structure and incredible natural engineering of the feather itself as opposed to a more literal representation," Hastings-McFall said.

The artwork, named Hope Fully Fledged, will be very visible, suspended high in the building's atrium above a wide, central stairway. The design will play with light, shadow and colour.

Hastings-McFall has also associated the possibility of flight with hope; she drew further inspiration from poet Emily Dickinson who wrote;

"Hope" is the thing with feathers-

That perches in the soul.

"In Emily Dickinson's poem, feathers symbolise the feeling of hope. Hope, just like education, allows people to break free, to fly away to new beginnings. Education and the pursuit of knowledge confer hope and allow our dreams reality."

Hope fully fledged - prototype

Caption: Playing with light and colour; Niki Hasting-McFall's artwork for CPIT, Hope Fully Fledged, is inspired by the new Engineering and Architectural Studies building and the idea that education brings hope and new beginnings. The final artwork will have 12 acrylic feathers similar to this prototype.   

With work in collections of Museum of New Zealand Te Papa TongarewaAuckland Art Gallery, The Dowse Art Museum Queensland Gallery of Modern Art and the British Museum, Hastings-McFall has been credited with helping to bring contemporary Pacific art to national prominence and international acceptance.

Hastings-McFall's latest work will complement the three-storey, 6,500m2 Kahukura building designed by Jasmax to provide an inspirational environment for CPIT's student architectural designers, engineers, interior designers and quantity surveyors.

Kahukura will cater for around 1000 people and is scheduled for completion in late 2016.

The feather-inspired sculpture for Kahukura will not be the only new major artwork at CPIT. The commission, by the CPIT Artwork Collection Committee, is part of an overarching programme of artistic enrichment included in the Campus Master Plan programme of rebuilding and refurbishment CPIT's campuses.

CPIT's focus on arts has caught the attention of the arts community. Christchurch Art Gallery Senior Curator Lara Strongman says the new artworks will contribute to Christchurch.

"CPIT is to be commended for initiating this far-sighted series of public art commissions. I know there is great interest in the wider community, and considerable goodwill generated from the creative sector towards CPIT. I am really looking forward to seeing the finished works, and am confident they'll make a significant contribution to the culture of the city," she said.

9 July 2015

Ceremony opens new trades hall

The third and final new building at CPIT Trades, as part of the current Campus Master Plan, is now open for business following a ceremony on 3 July to prepare the building for use.

The spaces are designed to be flexible to support more innovative delivery of trades training with greater use of technology and workshop-based theory.

When trades students return on 20 July for semester 2, they will have four new flexible seminar rooms, with an open collaborative learning space for students, a speciality Enamel Painting room, the 760 m2 Trade Hall, a flexible space that will initially be used for painting and a 380 m2storage area for the whole campus.

Te Puna Wanaka tutors Hohepa Waitoa and Reimana Tutengaehe conducted the ceremony. Hohepa explained the intent of the ceremony before they began.

"There's a couple of karakia (prayers) that we'll do to place our mauri within the wharae here. Our mauri is sort of like a life force, an essence and it's quite imperative to have it bestowed in your house before work starts to take place within, so that the work contains that same essence," Hohepa explained before the ceremony.

"So even though we might be chanting words that are quite unfamiliar to you, that's OK. Just think about what it is that you consider to be your essence and place that in this wharae when you walk around."

Building and refurbishment work at CPIT Trades has been supported by $18.9m of government funding to help CPIT increase the capacity for trades training to support the skills needs of Christchurch.

The VE extension completes the new construction programme at Trades. The programme now moves on to refurbishment of VE and V Blocks.

7 July 2015

R Block demolition 

The new Whareora (Science and Wellbeing Facility) gym, fitness studios and sports courts are well and truly open for business, so we can now say goodbye to the old Recreation Centre, known as R Block.

CPIT held a ceremony to farewell R Block on 19 June. Some of those at the ceremony had spent many years working in the building, but probably the longest serving staff member in R Block was recreation tutor Russell Graham (now Programme leader for Certificate in Fitness) who first worked in the building in 1988.

Caption: Reimana Tutengaehe (left) and Hohepa Waitoa begin the ceremony to farewell R Block.

R Block and the adjoining RC Block have now been prepared for demolition to make way for the new building Te Kei and landscaping in the Campus Master Plan programme of work.

The R Block demolition begins 13 July. Watch the demolition of R Block and the construction of the new building, Te Kei, on the same site via our live webcam.

3 March 2015

PM officially opens Te Whareora

Prime Minister John Key officially opened the new $15.9m Te Whareora (Science and Wellbeing Facility). This facility provides state-of-the-art learning environments for CPIT students in Applied Science degrees and those who participate in the Next Steps Centre for Women and Workskills programmes.

New gym and health centre

CPIT's staff and students will have a new fitness centre to work out in and a 1,100 m2 sports court for basketball and other matches. The relocated Health Centre will provide students with access to doctors, nurses and physiotherapists.  The building also houses The Zone, a specialist testing facility open to provide testing and training for the region's elite athletes and experience in fitness assessment for CPIT's sport science students.

"This is a significant milestone for CPIT," CPIT Chief Executive Kay Giles said. "Our staff, students and community will now have a tangible signal of CPIT's intention to be a leading tertiary education provider, giving students modern and flexible training that leads to great employment outcomes."

Designed for the future

Te Whareora was designed by Athfields Architects who have also been commissioned to create an overall plan for the Madras Street campus that creates more engaging environments for students. The plan includes significant green spaces, a student hub and better circulation between buildings. Hawkins constructed the building, engineering was by Powell Fenwick Engineers and project management by Inovo.

"Te Whareroa is a simple but robust building, providing much needed communal student space along with flexible, dynamic teaching environments," Trevor Watt, Director at Athfield Architects said. "The social hub of the building is the Sports Hall and all the specialised sports and health functions group around and open into this large, naturally lit space. The tiered seating here also doubles as spectator viewing and informal break-out teaching space."

Sustainability features

With sustainability high on both CPIT and Athfield Architects' agendas, the building incorporates energy efficient features such as solar heating for hot water and rubber flooring made from 6100 kilograms of used car tyres - or about 680 used car tyres.

Te Whareora combines the Māori words for 'house' and 'wellbeing'. The building's name reflects CPIT's commitment to biculturalism. CPIT is self-funding three new buildings and refurbishments at the City Campus, while the government contributed $18.9m in funding to new buildings and upgrading facilities at CPIT Trades.

Student launch event

At the Your Whareora lunchtime event, students and staff were treated to Bubble soccer with Bubble Balls (giant spheres that go around the body and head, like a bubble, leaving just the legs sticking out), The Zone free fitness tests, gym membership specials, a free yoga or boxing class, free snacks and live music.

30 January 2015

VE extension progress at the Trades Campus 

It was a beautiful day for a large concrete pour at the Trades Campus today. Misty rain and temperatures that are not too hot - just what concrete pourers like! With 200 cubic meters of concrete to deliver, there were concrete trucks coming and going until late morning. The contractors were on the job bright and early at 4am. They were working on the foundations of VE extension, a new building that is part of construction and upgrading work at the Trades Campus. It's all part of a larger Campus Master plan which is creating modern and flexible new learning spaces across both campuses.

Trades campus concrete pour


11 December 2014

E Block gets an upgrade

NASDA, Engineering and ESOL students will return in 2015 to improvements in E Block, which has had earthquake repairs and is being connected to the new Whareora (Science and Wellbeing facility).

E Block and the Whareora will be linked with a walkway on the first and second floor and as part of this work E Block is getting an upgrade. Apart from the work to create corridors to the Whareora, there are a few bonuses for NASDA such as new dance floors and a new dressing room area.

E Block is now closed to all staff and students and a small number of classes, including ESOL, have been relocated for now.

We can't wait to see the E Block improvements when classes start back in February.

U Block (Food and Hospitality) is also getting some improvements, however these are more in the line of earthquake damage repairs. U Block is also closed to all staff and students until February 2015.

5 November 2014

CPIT's new buildings support modern trades training

Two new trades buildings at CPIT reflect a new generation of trades training delivery.

The buildings were blessed with a karakia today by Te Puna Wanaka Manager Hemi Hoskins, followed by a mihi (welcome) from the new Head of Trades at CPIT, Mike Field, and a BBQ lunch for CPIT staff.

New Plasterboard Facilities

Caption: new plasterboarding facilities ready for use in the extension to the plumbing barn at CPIT Trades. 

The new buildings, a carpentry barn and extension to the plumbing building, add over 1000m2 of trades training space as part of CPIT's response to the need to train more skilled workers for Canterbury.

The current building construction and upgrading facilities is being done in tandem with new-generation trades training delivery.

Both new buildings support the use of mobile resources that essentially bring the classroom to the workshop and integrate theory with practice, helping students to learn at their own pace and spend more time practising their trades skills and learning from their tutors' industry experience. This helps students graduate ready for current industry conditions and with the skills that employers need.

16 October 2014

Landscaper's proposal aligns with CPIT

CPIT's Madras Street campus will be transformed into attractive and inspiring outdoor spaces thanks to designs to be developed by Align.

Align won the contract to renew the campus with an exciting combination of practical and creative landscaping ideas. They are already working closely with Diadem wayfinding consultants, who are developing a signage plan for both campuses, and have held their first stakeholder meeting with a representative group of CPIT staff, and students, from across the institute.

Besides the south quad and north quad major developments, Align will look at all the spaces between buildings on campus. Initial ideas include spaces for performing in, for relaxing in, for catching some sun, for informal study groups or for enjoying artworks. A memorial garden, a living wall, edible gardens, native plantings and culturally themed areas are all ideas being explored.  Safety, parking and access for safety vehicles were issues that were also raised.

Align has offices in Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland. Other projects include New Brighton Master Planning, the Christchurch Avon River park, a multi-home development in Queenstown and urban design in Kuala Lumpur.

BECA, the company project managing new building construction at Trades, will also oversee the new 'heartspace' landscaping development at Trades.

1 October 2014

New Engineering and Architectural Studies building concept design released

Jasmax Associate Principal Richard Hayman revealed the concept designs for the new Engineering and Architectural Studies (EAS) building today in a presentation for CPIT staff.

Transparency, future focussed learning spaces, sustainability and expressed structural elements are key themes for the three-storey, 6,550m2 building which will cater to up to 1000 people.

EAS building

Designed to reflect innovative learning and teaching, the facility is a flagship building of CPIT's Campus Master Plan programme of new buildings and refurbishment.

Jasmax's design of the facade began with the concept of a Maori cloak, both for sheltering the building and for conferring mana, or respect, on the building as a significant place of learning. Transparency of the facade on the ground floor will draw attention to a range of activities in areas designed for multi-purpose use from exhibitions to industry events.

Hayman says sustainability has informed the project from the outset. "In terms of the rebuild, designers are working towards a green, sustainable city – a key aim of the city's population - whilst at the same time balancing a large proportion of a project's budget on engineering and foundations; an imperative for ensuring safety. CPIT are embracing both of these perspectives equally, and so, with a strong sustainability focus, we are working with the institute to enhance the resource efficiency and performance of the building."

EAS concept

The $30m building will be resource efficient and will incorporate social and flexible learning spaces. It will mark the southern gateway to CPIT's redeveloped campus.

Jasmax is now working on developing the interior design of the building.

15 September 2014

Rakaia Centre to become student hub

CPIT will convert its landmark Rakaia Centre into a dynamic student hub by March 2018 as part of its Campus Master Plan.

The redevelopment of the landmark building on Madras Street features refurbishment of existing facilities such as the Library, Careers Centre, Information and Enrolments and the café along with the addition of new social spaces, study areas and an international student hub. Work will begin in April 2016.

Meanwhile the Executive Suite, Finance and Human Resources will move out of the Rakaia Centre and into a new purpose designed building currently known as G Block. Marketing Services will also relocate from across the road on Allen Street.

Athfields Architects were recently announced as designers of the new G Block building.

Athfields has a well-established association with CPIT beginning with the design of the Rakaia building. The company was chosen to oversee the Madras Street redevelopment and also designed the first new building of the Campus Master Plan work. Their new Whareora (Science and Wellbeing Facility) is on schedule to open at the beginning of 2015.

Design work on the new 1500m2 G Block building, located adjacent to the Wharenui, has already begun with the building scheduled for completion in March 2016.

5 September 2014

Roof shout

Our new Whareora (Science and Wellbeing Facility) just reached an important construction milestone. As of today the entire roof is on! In accordance with tradition the construction workers on site have been treated to a morning tea. Well done to everyone involved – Athfields architects, Powell Fenwick consultants, Hawkins Construction, Inovo Project Managers and the CPIT governance and project teams. We can't wait to check out the new facilities in January 2015.

18 July 2014

Acknowledging the Memorial Hall

The Memorial Hall (F Block) was built in 1935 and most recently housed the CircoArts programme until earthquake damage made it unfit for use in September 2010.

The decision to demolish F Block was not taken lightly. However, due to the earthquake damage to this building and the accompanying need to invest in modern learning spaces, it was a necessary decision for the future of CPIT and our regional contribution to Canterbury.

CPIT is committed to honouring the memory of those to whom the hall was dedicated. A beautifully carved honour board of those past students who died in World War I, as well as those who died in World War II, was refurbished and re-gilded for the centenary of the Christchurch Technical College (now CPIT) in 2006. This is proudly displayed in a prominent position in the Rakaia Building at Madras Street. CPIT has also undertaken to create a memorial garden to the memory of those who fought and died for our country. In addition, the memorial plaques that were in the hall are to be returned to the RSA to be incorporated into a memorial they are planning for Christchurch.

The site has been allocated for a new Engineering & Architectural Studies building which will accommodate the increased need in Canterbury and wider New Zealand for qualified construction professionals, architectural designers, architectural studies and quantity surveying graduates and engineers. The new building will enable CPIT to expand the capacity to deliver these qualifications and to offer modern learning environments that best prepare students for industry.

8 July 2014

Engineering and Architectural building to replace F Block

The CPIT Campus Master Plan is a programme of construction and refurbishment which will support CPIT's training delivery into the future and contribute to the economic recovery of Christchurch.

The first projects are underway with the Whareora (Science and Wellbeing Facility) and three new buildings at the Trades Campus well underway.

The next project is the new Engineering and Architectural Studies building (K Block), which will replace the current F Block. This has been identified as the best location following extensive strategic planning in the context of the overall programme of extensive new construction and refurbishment work across the campus.

The new building requires access to engineering workshops in E Block and a site where disruption from construction will be minimal. At 6,500sqm, this new facility is the biggest single investment of CPIT's Campus Master Plan investment and will help to train the architects and engineers who will contribute to the recovery of Christchurch.

F Block has suffered significant earthquake damage and has not been occupied since September 2011. A Detailed Engineering Evaluation (DEE) assessed this building at 25% of the building code. Significant cost was identified in bringing the building to 67% of the code, the level that the CPIT Council requires all CPIT buildings to reach.

The Returned Services Association (RSA) and the Ministry of Education have been consulted and they have no issues with demolition of this building. To recognise the history of this building, memorial brass plaques will be removed and donated to the RSA.

CPIT has also committed to creating a memorial garden for F Block and the location of this will be decided in relation to the overall campus landscaping plan.

2 May 2014

Weather causes only slight delays

The rainy weather has not caused too many delays to our current building sites. At the Madras Street campus, half of the foundations have been poured. With extra resources on hand, Hawkins Construction are only one week behind schedule.

Over at Trades, Ensors Road, there are is no delay to the new VP barn and HRS are only two days behind on VC barn.

Keep up the good work everyone and fingers crossed for sun!

15 April 2014

Portable building donated to soccer club

15 April: A portable building at the trades campus, known as VS109, has been donated to the local soccer club and will soon become a changing room for the players. The portable is being moved today to the corner of the soccer field at the back of the campus.

Preparations are also underway to move the soccer field floodlights in line with the new positioning of the field. The power kiosk and low voltage system will be relocated on Tuesday when CPIT is closed for the Easter break, so disruption will be minimal.

9 April 2014

Breaking ground at TII today

The diggers have started work today at TII as the first new building gets underway. The ground is now being prepared for the new VC Barn, the first of three new buildings at TII.

26 March 2014

Construction starts at TII

CPIT has received building consent for the construction of the new VC barn at TII. HRS has been awarded the contract and civil works on site will begin almost immediately.

The VC barn is currently expected to have a 55 day build timeframe.

As part of the contract HRS will install a new storm-water drainage system that goes between the proposed VC barn and VE block down the middle of the road, all the way across the soccer field to Whittington Ave.

These developments are part of stage 1 of CPIT's Campus Master Plan.

11 March 2014

TII construction work starting soon

CPIT's Trades Innovation Institute is about to undergo an expansion to enable us to train more trades professionals for the rebuild of Christchurch. We expect work to begin soon and take around six months.

The government is supporting the expansion of our trades training facilities with funding of $18.9million, which we are investing in three new buildings (an additional 2,500 m2 in total) and upgrading our existing buildings.

We are doing our best to minimise the impact of this work on those living in the area and to keep residents up to date. We are also working closely with the local soccer club. The field and floodlights will be moved closer to Whittington Avenue and the club will continue to operate as normal.

With more students and staff on campus, the developments include planning for a 50% increase in onsite carparking at TII.

31 January 2014

Madras Street - Through February contractors Hawkins Construction are compacting the ground ready for foundations to be prepared on the site of the new Whareora – Science and Wellbeing Facility. This compaction work will continue for approximately four weeks and is likely to cause vibrations which may be felt across the campus and, particularly, in the buildings close to the building site. There is very little we can do to mitigate this as it is not practical or feasible for this work to be done outside of normal working hours. Some disruption will be inevitable as we rebuild and revitalise our campuses and create new facilities for our students, staff and communities.


6 November 2013

CPIT announced an extensive $120m programme of new building and refurbishment work - read more about it at CPIT Campus Master Plan launched.

3 October 2013

CPIT has welcomed the announcement from Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce to receive $18.9m from the government to invest in our Trades Innovation Institute campus - read more about it at CPIT welcomes $18.9m government funding for trades campus.