Wildbase & Administration Building

Massey University - Palmerston North

NZIA Western Architecture Award 2018

As part of a wider proposed Veterinary Complex development this is a new three level building that provides centralised facilities for the School of Veterinary Science administration staff, along with a new hospital and support spaces for the Wildbase group. The project was a joint venture with Studio Pacific Architecture and has created a clear public face for the school with a new main entry foyer and an internal street that links new and existing spaces.

The ground floor hospital is New Zealand’s only dedicated wildlife hospital providing care and treatment of native wildlife including birds, reptiles and marine animals. Designed to best-practice principles the hospital encompuses 310m² of the 2,300m² building.  

From the entry foyer a secure internal corridor provides access to the animal care areas, that include the main treatment room, wards, an intensive care unit, isolation room, surgery theatre, private patient treatment room, display ward, feed kitchen and laundry, with supporting write-up and store rooms.  

A natural work flow between spaces has been provided with external windows placed to suit room function for natural light and privacy. The rooms nearer to the entry lobby are able to be viewed by the public from the outside. Interior glazing enables vision between spaces, particularly to the surgery theatre to enhance learning opportunities. Throughout the hospital attention has been given to temperature control and acoustics so the animals are not stressed in the temporarily captive environment.

The hospital is split into three zones with dedicated areas so that the surgery is not contaminated by other general spaces, and so that the private patient consultation and treatment rooms can operate as a separate unit. Cleanable and durable surfaces are employed throughout, including using paints that are antimicrobial. Drains and mechanical air ventilation grilles have additional mesh covers to ensure any smaller, or flying, wildlife is not able to escape.

Specific solutions were provided to enable the Wildbase clinical functions to be successful in nurturing our native (or non-domestic) creatures.

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