Thomas Building

Architects: Stephenson & Turner

Size & Scope: A 4,800 m2 extension.

This is a combined commercial/academic facility enabled by the new extensions.  It houses both the Auckland University School of Biological Sciences and the Institute for Innovation in Biotechnology.  The institute is an ‘incubator’ i.e. companies can establish research teams there who work alongside the university researchers.

The extension provides research space and room for up to 160 additional scientists, industry staff and graduate students. A four storey glass atrium links the extension to the old building and a structural steel frame provides flexibility for possible future additions or changes in function.

Piles were driven down to bedrock and there are shear walls at ground level.  The steel frame supports a mix of hollow-core and flat slab concrete floors while providing stability in all directions.  Façades on this project dictated exacting deflection limits – especially the curved facade on Symonds Street. Our capability in 3D CAD was used to the full – both in design and in providing easy-to-follow detail drawings.