Architectural honours for University’s newest building

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington’s newest building, Maru, has been shortlisted for two awards by the Wellington branch of Te Kāhui Whaihanga New Zealand Institute of Architects (NZIA).


Maru is shortlisted in the Education and Interior Architecture categories.

“The last year has been a busy time for architects in our region, and a lot of outstanding projects were submitted into the awards programme. Deciding on a shortlist was very challenging,” says judge Shauna Herminghouse.

The local architecture awards showcase the best work in each of the NZIA’s eight regions. Winners of the awards can go on to receive national honours as well.

Maru building was one of the projects completed by the University’s Property Services Team in 2019 and was designed by Athfield Architects, who have worked on several buildings at the University.

Maru means to shelter, safeguard, or cover, and it first opened in September 2019 to provide flexible space for 120 staff and postgraduate students to work in during other refurbishment projects at the University.

Sustainability was an important consideration in the design and construction of Maru. For example, the meeting pods on each floor use recycled PET plastic (such as plastic bottles), and significant amounts of the steel, aluminium, and glass is recycled as well. The lighting, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning is automated, which means consumption is minimised when the building is not in use.

“We’re very excited about Maru’s selection as a finalist for two NZIA awards,” says Satish Dahya, Associate Director, Campus Development. “This is a sustainable space that is providing shelter to our students and staff to continue the pursuit of becoming a world-leading capital city university and one of the great global–civic universities.