Bach of de­sign­ers see job through

Central Leader - - News - By Lisa Sloan

Unitec’s ar­chi­tec­ture mas­ters stu­dents are usu­ally busy de­sign­ing plans for some­one else to build.

But in their lat­est task they have been able to see the process right through – from draw­ing sketches to muck­ing in on the build­ing site.

The stu­dents are cur­rently build­ing the bed­room pavil­ion of a four-bed­room hol­i­day home at Unitec’s Mt Al­bert cam­pus.

The bach will then be com­pleted by pro­fes­sion­als in­clud­ing celebrity builder John “Cocksy” Cocks and trans­ferred to Matarangi.

It is be­ing built as a char­ity project and will be auc­tioned off to the high­est bid­der.

All pro­ceeds will go to chil­dren’s char­ity Kid­sCan, which pro­vides rain­coats, hats, shoes and food for chil­dren in un­der-priv­i­leged ar­eas.

Stu­dent James Dawe says it has been great to see the group’s plans come to life.

“Usu­ally when we de­sign some­thing, we don’t get the chance to ac­tu­ally build it,” he says.

“This would usu­ally be where we fin­ish but we’ve been able to get hands-on knowl­edge and it’s for a good cause as well.”

Unitec lec­turer Dave Stra­chan came up with the idea to have stu­dents build the bach when he was asked by his friend John Cocks to par­tic­i­pate in the char­ity project.

Ear­lier this year, stu­dents came up with pos­si­ble de­signs for the bach in groups be­fore a panel of class­mates, lec­tur­ers and rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Kid­sCan se­lected the winning de­sign.

Stu­dents then had to put to­gether doc­u­ments to gain re­source con­sent and have spent the past five weeks build­ing the bed­room pavil- lion on site un­der the guid­ance of Mr Stra­chan and Mr Cocks.

Mr Stra­chan says hav­ing build­ing ex­pe­ri­ence will give the stu­dents an ad­van­tage in their ca­reers.

“It’s not of­ten some­thing like this comes along where the stu­dents get a global view of what hap­pens in the real world,” he says.

“They’re learn­ing that it’s not just hav­ing to deal with the de­sign as­pect of ar­chi­tec­ture, but that they’ve got to be in­volved in the whole process.”

Kid­sCan gen­eral man­ager Julie Hel­son says it’s a valu­able project.

Around 100 schools are wait­ing for help, and funds raised from the house will help to meet this need.

“This is a great project which will en­able us not only to auc­tion a fan­tas­tic prop­erty but also re­duce our wait­ing list and stop kids go­ing to school cold, wet and hun­gry,” says Ms Hel­son.

The bach is ex­pected to be com­pleted by the end of the year and auc­tioned next year.

Photo: JA­SON OX­EN­HAM

Hands on: Unitec mas­ter of ar­chi­tec­ture stu­dents, from left: Jayshree Ma­gan, Cal­lum Dowie, Gemma Muir and James Dawe are help­ing to build a bach that will be auc­tioned off for char­ity Kid­sCan.

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