The University’s iconic new lecture facility, approved by Council, will be built on the space adjacent to A-Ring and the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment on the Auckland Park Kingsway Campus (APK).
Construction work commenced on Thursday, 08 August 2013. The APK lecture venues are planned for completion in time for the start of the second semester of 2014. The building site will be cordoned off to staff, students and visitors and the access road, which runs past the front of the A-Ring lawn, will be diverted through the A-Ring parking area. The traffic flow will be clearly demarcated.
The new lecture facility has been designed to accommodate two mirrored 750 seat venues around a circular courtyard and an ablution block located between the new and old buildings. The additional 1 500 seats will greatly alleviate the serious shortage of teaching and learning space currently being experienced at APK.
The building in plan is similar to the existing B-Les lecture facility, however, slight modifications have been made to the pure fan shape, thereby providing the new facility with an iconic design with greater seating capacity and study space.
The position of the new lecture venues means that the foundations of the building overlap with the root system of the large Eucalyptus tree on the northern boundary of the building site. Although the University did its best to retain the tree, a professional report concluded that it was not possible and that the tree will have be removed in order for the new facility to be constructed. The project team will be exploring opportunities to memorialise the tree by re-using the fallen tree trunks into benches around the new building. Where at all possible, other trees in the A-Ring lawn area impacted by the construction, will be transplanted.
The existing APK WiFi zone will be relocated to the space between the Library and the Student Centre, close to the current location of the Postgraduate Centre.