Warren and Mahoney and Woods Bagot celebrate Best in Category at World Architecture Festival

On day two of the World Architecture Festival, Warren and Mahoney, Woods Bagot, Boffa Miskell and Lab-works are celebrating the Lincoln University and AgResearch Joint Facility in Christchurch, New Zealand, winning the Best in Category Award for Education – Future Project.

Known as the Lincoln Research Hub, the facility is set to be the largest land-based sciences research centre in the southern hemisphere. Stage one brings together 700 Agricultural Science staff from Lincoln University, crown research institute Ag Research and dairy industry organisation Dairy NZ.

Collaboration is at the heart of the NZD $206m joint project. Not only has the design partnership embraced a deeply cooperative process, the project itself is innovative for how its design encourages potential partners from different organisations to connect in shared research spaces.

The WAF award honours the design partnership’s commitment to reflecting an understanding of identity, place and community throughout the design process. Informed by consultation with local Iwi and inspired by the lush and fertile agricultural land of New Zealand’s surrounding countryside, traditional Māori wayfinding is used to guide pathways between the facility and surrounding campus.

Warren and Mahoney’s principal Graeme Finlay said,

“The Lincoln University and AgResearch Joint Facility builds a bridge between education, research and private industry.  We started the project with a two-year consultation process, and the resulting design brings together a diversity of viewpoints to unlock the power of innovation and sustainability.”

Woods Bagot’s civic and events sector leader in Australia, Simon Tothill, described the facility as a canvas for an unprecedented level of interface between teaching and learning, research and fieldwork, and corporate entities with the wider community.

Tothill said,

“The building is dedicated to developing deeper understanding, the serendipity of further examination and the wonders of the world revealed through microscopic study. We’ve stayed true to this core idea to create a scheme that easily adapts to future growth and changing conditions, through breaking down the traditional institutional hierarchy with one singular design narrative running across the entire project.”

Impressed with the way that the client, design partners and local community were able to collaborate, WAF judges said that the design allowed for the creation of a building “with a profound relationship to both the cultural meaning and physical manifestation of the landscape.

Held in Amsterdam this year, the annual WAF festival is dedicated to celebrating, sharing and inspiring outstanding architecture and boasts the only global awards program where architects present projects to a live panel of internationally renowned judges and delegates. A record 536 projects from 81 countries were shortlisted this year, making 2018 the biggest year in the awards’ history.