The Hub

Story by Erin Jellyman

Museum and Heritage Studies, 2017

The Space

The Hub is a three-level building central to the Kelburn Campus of Victoria University of Wellington. The space includes the Reading Room, which is connected to the Kelburn Library, informal learning spaces, cafés and food outlets. The Hub has become an integral social space for students and staff, and plays a huge role in cultivating the quality of life at Victoria.

  • <p>Outside the Hub. </p>
  • <p>Inside the Hub. </p>
  • <p>Inside the Hub. </p>

The Redevelopment Years

The Campus Development Framework was released by the University in 2006 and provided a 10-year plan for the future of Kelburn Campus. This included an overhaul of the central area formerly known as ‘the Quad’.

The Quad was outdated, sad and exposed to the elements. With dull grey concrete as the somewhat depressing backdrop, the area was furnished with park benches and outdated advertising. It was felt that the Quad was not inspiring or motivating for students. A student, who experienced both facilities during his studies, described the Quad as: “Cold, drab, full of rubbish and pigeons, it had a dodgy little kiosk off on the side. The Quad was not a functional social space, it was simply the middle of the university. It’s much better now.”

The project began in November 2010 in partnership with Architectus and Athfield Architects of Wellington. Their challenge was to respond to changing study and recreational expectations. Unfortunately, during the construction students were reduced to cramped walkways skirting around the future Hub.

A Look at the Quad

  • <p>The Quad. </p>
  • <p>Recreation Day in the Quad. </p>

The Modern-Day Hub

Thankfully, the narrow passages only lasted two years, and the Hub was officially opened on 21 March, 2013 by Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, GNZM, QSO. He stated during his opening speech, “The Hub represents the University’s enduring commitment to playing a leading role in New Zealand’s future.” The investment in the Hub and the Campus Development Framework represents Victoria’s commitment to producing quality graduates and ensuring they are supported throughout their studies.

Today the Hub is a central meeting point for all students, staff and guests. Flanked by cafés and food outlets, study areas and social spaces, the Hub is used by most students daily. The vibrancy of the space is encouraging and inspires a sense of belonging to Victoria University and student life in Wellington.

Fun Facts about the Hub

The Hub includes the largest sliding glass doors in the Southern Hemisphere—each door weighs 10 tonnes and measures 6 metres tall.

The building was originally valued at $63 million.


The Hub has won some major architectural and property awards since its construction:

2013 NZIA Wellington Architecture Award: Education

2013 NZIA Wellington Architecture Award: Resene Colour Award

2014 NZIA New Zealand Architecture Award: Education

2014 PCNZ Rider Levett Bucknall Property Award: Coffey Education and Arts Award—Excellence, Best in Category

2015 CEFPI Australasia Regional Educational Facilities Award: Category 2 New Construction Major Facility—Commendation

2015 CEFPI Australasia Regional Educational Facilities Award: Emerging Chapter Award

Where you can find the Hub

The Hub, Kelburn, Wellington 6012, New Zealand