Arts and Media Building | NMIT | Nelson | New Zealand

Role of PTL

  • Assistance with the timber engineering conceptual design
  • Advice on the optimisation of the incorporation of the Pres-Lam structural system into the design
  • Assisting Aurecon with the Peer Review of the structure and documentation to the Nelson City Council

Photo: © Patrick Reynolds

Building description

Building Facts

  • Client: Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology (NMIT)
  • Size: 3 Storeys, 3000m2
  • Opened: January 2011
  • Architect: Irving Smith Jack Architects
  • Engineer: Aurecon
  • Timber supplier and fabricators: Nelson Pine Industries | Hunter Laminates
  • Construction: Arrow International

Built in response to the New Zealand Governments call for a showcase landmark timber building the Arts & Media Building of the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology (NMIT) is the first of its kind. Constructed in Nelson, the building resists lateral loading through the use of coupled Pres-Lam walls. Gravity loads are carried by post and beam construction and a timber-concrete composite floor..

Damage-limiting Pres-Lam elements were combined with passive approaches to daylighting, ventilation and shading creating a truly sustainable structural design. Timber elements were left exposed displaying the warmth and functionality of the material.

Serving a dual educational role the Arts & Media building serves as a place to teach and exhibit art and inform industry of the creative possibilities of structural timber. All this was made possible through the use of PTL’s expertise and the Pres-Lam structural system.


Below is a selection of the many awards given to this structure:

  • Top 25 Educational Buildings in the World – World Architecture News 2011
  • Finalist in World Architecture Festival 2011 – Barcelona
  • Winner of World Education and Healthcare Category – Structural Awards 2011 (UK)
  • Winner Commercial Engineering Excellence – NZ Wood Timber Design Awards 2011
  • Winner Clever Wood Solutions – NZ Wood Timber Design Awards 2011


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Arts and Media Building Website