University of Auckland: School of Music Building, Condition Assessment
The University of Auckland’s School of Music building, designed by Hill Manning Mitchell Architects in 1986, has significant importance both as permanent home of the School of Music on the campus and as a structure of special architectural interest. In 2012 the building received a New Zealand Institute of Architects Enduring Architecture Award as an “inventive and joyful work of architecture that 30 years after its construction continues to communicate a sense of delight”.
The building, developed on a very tight budget, houses a music theatre, a recording studio, practice rooms, lecture rooms, offices and a library – all set on a small site by a busy road. It was designed to provide quiet separated spaces despite its proximity to the busy Symonds Street thoroughfare. Indeed its Symonds Street face is a large curved solid wall, originally shaded from pale to dark yellow, beyond which an inner courtyard only 20 metres from Symonds Street is quiet enough for the performance of outdoor concerts.
The building design involves complex roof forms including sections of glazing. Its textured concrete wall forms incorporate stepped and curved profiles and angled tops. All of these features increase the complexity of maintenance required and in 2013 the University sought Salmond Reed’s advice on methods for remedying some of the maintenance and repair problems they were experiencing.