University of Waikato - Art and concrete combine - Firth | ArchiPro

University of Waikato - Art and concrete combine

Products used: Walkway™ PaverExposed AggregateSelf Compacting ConcreteEnviroBlend®


After 4 years the new student services building at the University of Waikato is now finished - officially opened by Prime Minister, John Key in November last year. The project is the first educational building in New Zealand to attain the 5-star green design rating.

The building features outstanding architecture and combines a variety of Firth's products from GreenCrete® concrete (containing recycled aggregate and flyash and now called EnviroBlend®), Self Compacting Concrete  (used in the 11+ high waterfall in the entrance) and a variety of aggregates and pavers creating fabulous and funky zones around the new campus.

"Having a number of designers involved in this large dynamic project - Warren and Mahoney, Mansergh Graham, and Maunsell - has allowed a variety of Firth product to be show cased," says Alison Durning, Customer Development Representative for Firth. "Innovative styling has created a central location to be enjoyed by a wide number of people."Walkway pavers used in a grey blend of colours with bush hammered texture - black sands, graphite and natural - emulates a river bed theme along an extensive pathway throughout the University.Six metre long pre cast panels, with groove detailing on their surface, have been used as modern stepping stones in the reflection pool. The water in this area is recycled and features a two metre waterfall featuring 19mm Awarua aggregate concrete. Boulevard pavers in chocolate brown and cream sands have been combined with Awarua pebble exposed aggregate concrete which also includes Firth element oxide - Thunder cloud.Exposed aggregate with a band of large polished river stones creates additional interest to the dry river bed theme in this part of the grounds. "Tony Brown and the team at Fletcher Construction have done an amazing job at bringing together the various designs using our products," adds Alison. "It's a very impressive facility."

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