School entranceway wins global award
An architectural project focusing on the promotion of healthy and sustainable eating has won an international award.
Melanie Pau, Yusef Patel, and Stefan Panovski from The University of Auckland were awarded a 2013 Bentley Student Design
Award for their Entranceway Project at Onehunga Primary School. It is the first time the prestigious global prize as
been won by New Zealanders.
School of Architecture and Planning student Melanie Pau designed the entranceway as part of her Master of Architecture
(Professional) thesis, under the supervision of Professor Andrew Barrie and Senior Lecturer John Chapman. Fellow
Master’s students Yusef Patel and Stefan Panovski assisted her with its construction.
The structure incorporates edible plants and information displays, with the idea that children, waiting parents and even
passers-by can learn about how to grow food.
The structure was built mostly with volunteer labour, including parents and a team of fourth-year architecture students
completing a Timber Technology course. The modular system consisted of 50 ply pieces cut on the University’s high-tech
milling machines, all designed to slot together easily together. This simple assembly process allowed members of the
community to be involved in construction. It took over a month to cut and prepare the project’s plywood elements, but
only 12 hours for volunteers to assemble them.
Melanie’s design has been conceived as an open-source construction system freely available to any individual or
community that wishes to establish a programme related to growing food and teaching others to do the same.
“The project was an extraordinary achievement, demonstrating how the energy and creative thinking of our students can
benefit the community. This award demonstrates that these students are up with the best in the world”, says Professor
Andrew Barrie, from the School of Architecture and Planning at The University of Auckland.
Melanie Pau, Yusef Patel, and Stefan Panovski were presented with the 2013 Bentley Student Design Award last night at a
ceremony at the Auckland Art Gallery. The award includes a cash prize of US$2,000.
A second stage of the project at Onehunga Primary School will be completed later this year. Created by School of
Architecture and Planning master’s students Yusef Patel and Sam Wood, it will feature two shelters where parents and
children can wait.
The University of Auckland’s National Institute of Creative Arts and Industries comprises the School of Architecture and
Planning, Elam School of Fine Arts, the Centre for Art Studies (CAS), the School of Music and the Dance Studies