The winning design for Waiariki Institute of Technology's new $12 million Centre of Excellence for Tourism & Hospitality will feature a 150-seat demonstration kitchen lecture theatre, and barista lab among its key attractions.

"Our design competition resulted in a range of outstanding submissions from local and national architects," said Waiariki facilities manager Kathryn Bloor. "Darryl Church Architecture showed a clear understanding of the brief, and the needs of a tourism and hospitality building to strengthen academic delivery and community support functions on Rotorua's busy Mokoia Campus."

Scheduled to break ground in November, the modern centre will replace the campus' original prefabricated buildings, which have served as 'A Block' since construction for Waiariki Community College began in 1976. To mark this passing of the torch, a ceremony is being planned for mid-2016.

Interior concept. PHOTO/SUPPLIED
Interior concept. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

The first of the campus' redesigned facilities to be built in full view of the public, on the corner of Old Taupo Rd and Mokoia Dr, two separate three story buildings will form the core of the new facility, united by a shared roof.

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The top floor of the smaller of these buildings will offer a 50-seat restaurant, with views out to the mud pools of Whakarewarewa.

Darryl Church said the circular patterns of the iconic mud pools inspired the shape of the design's organic floor plate.

He said basing the design of a tourism and hospitality centre on the likely birthplace of New Zealand tourism only made sense.

"Darryl Church Architecture in association with MOAA architects are excited to have won the tourism and hospitality design competition and continue our relationship with Waiariki Institute of Technology.

"Timber design is also going to be a feature of the building and we are working with some of the most clever engineering minds in New Zealand to develop innovative timber engineering solutions which align with Rotorua Lakes Council's "Wood First" policy. This project will be a real boost to our growing portfolio and in turn a boost to the local economy as the team continues to grow."

Teaching kitchens, a hotel training reception, and a climbing wall befitting the modern adventure tourism student will merge with an atrium, offices and classrooms expected of a new-age educational facility.

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