Rakaia Centre Student Hub Development

Rakaia Centre Refresh Update - January 2019

Rakaia Centre

The goal for the Rakaia Centre Refresh project is a relaxed and welcoming environment for new students.

Repair and refurbishment work is now entering its second stage in the Rakaia Centre/ALX block.

The refresh is part of comprehensive transformation work at Tamesa that will facilitate the student journey from first to graduation. Clearer signage, improved layout of services and more vibrant interior design will create an excellent first impression for prospective students as soon as they enter the Rakaia Centre.

The imitation grass that now curves around the outer edges of the main space introduces a fun, informal feel, while new carpet tiles being laid in the adjoining rooms create bold patterns in gradients of colour. A living wall will complement the organic palette and interesting feature furniture will further enliven the main spaces. The design, by Interior Designer Tania Gorton from Nextdore and PORCELANOSA, creates a lighter and brighter space, and more of a student-centered identity for the Rakaia Centre.

The Security Office has been relocated across the Rakaia Centre and a new one-stop Student Information Hub will be developed in this area. Hub staff will advise students and guide them to nearby services including Admissions & Enrolments, the Career Centre, Student Finance and Student Central.

The refresh project incorporates external and internal painting, repairs to the atrium, improvements to the heating/cooling system and brand new sliding doors to enhance the indoor/outdoor flow. New directional signage will be installed soon, with features on the internal pillars to enhance the visual impact.

The remaining work is being timed to cause the least disruption to incoming students and staff working in the Rakaia Centre, with a completion date estimated for late February.

Student Hub Development

Student Hub development

Tamesa and Athfield Architects have started planning for the new Student Hub, which is due for completion in 2019.

The Rakaia Centre (ALX Block) at the City Campus Christchurch will be transformed into a Student Hub catering to local and international students at Tamesa. It’s a place where all students can meet, learn, study, collaborate, access services and relax with friends.

The brief calls for a hub that reflects the cultural diversity of Tamesa and is welcoming for all of our students. It will be accessible and sustainable, forming the heart of the campus and linking to the new North Green (under construction), the Te Kei administration hub (under construction) and Te Puna Wanaka cultural centre.

Athfields Architects designed the current building, which was completed in 1996. They are enthusiastic about the opportunity to update and repurpose the Rakaia building into a Student Hub.

Key features

  • Easy access to student support and services:
    • admissions and enrolments
    • learning services
    • information commons/library
    • student support
    • student finance
    • ICT help desk

Facilities / functionality under consideration

  • Commercial facilities such as ATM and Bennett’s Bookstore
    • Prayer rooms
    • Baby Change/Breastfeeding Room
    • Showers
    • A café with orientation to the North Green
  • Innovative learning and social spaces.


Our partners are committed to helping Tamesa achieve the vision of our sustainability charter.

Repurposing the Rakaia Centre as a student hub is an efficient use of resource, however the design and construction process will go further. The project will strive to reduce environmental impacts, maximise social gain and incorporate economic sustainability now and into the future.

Athfields Architects will investigate options for visible innovative sustainable building practices to be employed into this building to ensure they are celebrated and recognised by the students, staff and community.


Corporate Services, including Finance and People and Development, and International Services, previously located in the Rakaia Centre, have moved to the administration hub, Te Kei, completed in 2017. Other services will move to C Block (formerly the Engineering and Architectural Studies building) while the redevelopment takes place – we will keep you informed.



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