University of Auckland

Completion Date

October 2018


NZ Commercial Property Awards 2019 – Silver, Heritage and Restoration
Property Council New Zealand Rider Levett Bucknall Property Industry Awards 2019 – Merit, HAWKINS Heritage and Adaptive Reuses Property Award

1940’s era state housing re-purposed as bright, modern student accommodation.

Waikohanga House is a former 1940’s-era state housing apartment complex at 44 Symonds Street. We refurbished two six-storey blocks inside and out in two separate stages, giving them a new lease of life as much-needed accommodation for the University of Auckland’s postgraduate students and their families.

We worked closely with the architect RTA Studio and heritage architects Archifact to comply with the heritage constraints in this Category A heritage building. Exterior works included a comprehensive tap test of the plaster, remedial works to broken and corroded reinforcing in the concrete structure, asbestos removal of the window frame mastic, new services, plaster and window repairs and repainting.

Interior works included removal of mould, asbestos, dry rot and meth contaminated materials. Internal steel stud walls and ceilings were built to modern fire, seismic, thermal and acoustic building codes while respecting the character of the original design. We meticulously preserved heritage fixtures and fittings, including the rimu floors.

On the second block we relocated the communal laundry from the roof-top to the old furnace room, building a two-storey extension in its place. The extension uses modern materials in a neomodernist style, entirely in keeping with the original building.

We completed the multi award-winning project within programme and to high quality standards.


Categories: Accommodation, Adaptive Reuse, Auckland, Heritage, Seismic