Te Puni Village, Victoria University of Wellington

Te Puni Village, Victoria University of Wellington

"This is a celebration of light and colour within the urban landscape.... reminiscent of Noguchi and his lanterns"

NZIA Award Citation 2009

The Victoria University of Wellington Student Accommodation project, Te Puni Village, is located at the southern end of the University precinct on a steeply sloping site fronting on to Fairlie Terrace and falling to the University's Boyd Wilson playing field. It provides accommodation for 389 students in a mix of single bed dormitory rooms, one bed studios and 2 bedroom apartments.

The development aligns with the existing University spine and the contours which in turn have informed a 3 building composition which deliberately seeks to break down the mass of the development. The form of the village is shaped by the context.

Three separate accommodation buildings (the Terrace, the Tower and the Edge) respond to the different aspects of the site and are linked by a level containing the communal social spaces, dining hall and administration.

The smaller Terrace building fronts onto Fairlie Terrace and takes the rhythm and scale of the adjacent residential neighbours and establishes a street address for the complex. The main student entries are at lower levels relating to connections back to the main campus.

The Tower building in the middle of the site has a smaller footprint than the other two but rises higher while the Edge building aligns with and forms an edge to Boyd Wilson field.

The community level which acts as the main social organiser of the complex is expressed as a transparent element which cuts through the solid massing of the buildings, it forms a datum for the hostel. Everyone comes up to, or comes down to the datum to eat, collect mail and socialise.

Project Sheet

Project Summary

Victoria University of Wellington
Wellington, NZ
Floor area
13 840 m²
Original value
Michael Thomson


  • NZIA New Zealand Architecture Award 2011 - Residential Architecture (Multiple Housing)
  • NZIA Resene Wellington Award for Architecture 2009 - Urban Design

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