• The Undercroft. Photo credit: The University of CanterburyThe Undercroft. Photo credit: The University of Canterbury

University of Canterbury’s revitalized student centre in the running for an award

The University of Canterbury’s new student hub is a finalist in the New Zealand Interior Awards. 

The University’s Undercroft student area was an old bike shed before the earthquakes, but the refit of the large area has seen the Undercroft become a social centre for students with a food court, selection of cafes, retail outlets, and areas to relax in.

The space was designed by architectural firm Warren and Mahoney and will be competing against 18 other projects in the finals next week.  As well as the main award, there are seven category awards, with winners announced in Auckland at the end of June.

University of Canterbury’s Director of Learning Resources, Alex Hanlon, says that the project was critical to reinstating student spaces in the heart of the campus.

"That we were able to rehabilitate a tired old bike shed into a buzzing energetic student hub was the real success of the project.

"Warren and Mahoney literally brought light and life back into the dark recesses of the James Hight building and reinvented the space. As we continue to grow and recover, the Undercroft is the heart and soul in the centre of campus." Hanlon says.

The city of Christchurch has sprung back to life after being hit by two devastating earthquakes in 2010 and 2011.  Residents, architects and urban planners have spotted an opportunity to rethink the city space is new and innovative ways.   Pop up projects around the city, such as the Re:START mall – built from shipping containers – have gathered global acclaim. 

The Lonely Planet listed Christchurch as one of the top ten cities to visit in 2013 citing the "breathtaking mix of spirit, determination and flair" and "a sense of energy that is informing and inspiring the city’s renewal".

You can find out more about the University of Canterbury here, or talk to Study Options if you have any questions about studying in New Zealand.

The University of Canterbury are one of 16 universities to be represented at the Study Options Open Days in June, you can register now for an opportunity to meet the University in person at one of these UK events.

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