University of Otago's Dental School Update

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Sarah Rothwell

Ranked eighth in the world, above Harvard University, the University of Otago’s Dental School was a “victim of its own success”. Doubling its student intake in just a decade, the existing facilities all too quickly became out-grown, requiring expansion and upgraded facilities to reflect its status as one of the world’s leading Dental Schools.

Late in 2014, Jasmax were appointed, in partnership with local Dunedin architects Parker Warburton and Sydney-based Brewster Hjorth Architects, to deliver this $126 million integrated clinical, teaching and research redevelopment.

As the only tertiary training provider for dentists in New Zealand, the University identified the Dental School’s redevelopment as the highest priority in its 2014 Priority Development Plan. It was just a year later that Otago launched New Zealand education into the limelight, when it was announced just one place below King’s College London, in a study which ranks institutions according to academic and employer reputation, and research impact.

The design team are currently in the process of completing detailed design for an 8,000sqm new build which will connect to the rear of the Dental School’s existing 10,000sqm Walsh building. The project has challenged the joint venture team in a number of avenues, from decanting accommodation from existing sites in order to allow demolition of these existing buildings, revealing a significant archealogical site, and the re-creation of a Category 1 Heritage building façade, which is one of New Zealand’s first exemplars of early modern architecture.

With the purchase of over 200 new dental chairs recently confirmed, the new clinical services building will commence construction in the third quarter of 2016.

Find out more about the project in our In Progress section.

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