AskOtago offers help and support for all those who study or work at the University of Otago. They are located in satellite hubs throughout the university campus and the Central Hub in the Information Services Building. It amalgamates 11 services from around the University that provided help desk functions – including the Information Technology Services’ help desk and the University Information Centre.
The space for the proposed Central Hub was originally part of the University library and was dark and dated. AskOtago's brief to our designers was to create the 'MAGNIFICENT!' in the multi-use space whilst incorporating culture and functionality.
The help desk is central to the space and the bright yellow colour blocked suspended ceiling leads through the hub. Large “Whariki”, empowered to learn, mats surround the desks and are repeated throughout the design. Hanging panels divide the public space from private meeting booths. These feature custom patterns, “Aronui’, basket weave – sharing of knowledge. Large window decals featuring “Harakeke”, Flax - whanau/family, screen the area from the busy student union space next door. These elements combined with carefully selected furniture pieces, custom made self-help stations and a variety of working spaces bring a sense of belonging in this diverse learning space, redefining the way students interact with the University support services.
We are thrilled to have this project as a finalist in the 2019 Best Awards for Public and Institutional Spaces