Hiko Hub

Waikato University

The University of Waikato saw an opportunity to enhance its connection with the business world through HIKO Hub, a new operating model designed to foster creativity, bravery, and entrepreneurship. Named after the Te Reo Māori word for "lightning," HIKO aims to be a conduit for connection and innovation in the Waikato. HIKO Hub is a vibrant co-working environment that attracts industry partnerships and invigorates campus life.

The strategy focused on transforming an outdated staff building into an energetic co-working space, serving as the "front door" for businesses looking to partner with the University. The design needed to reflect the spark and energy of the HIKO brand, guided by the tagline "Igniting Ideas that Matter." This inspired a design strategy incorporating sustainable, innovative, and bold materials, including Cleanstone plastics, and renewable pine wood panels, along with New Zealand-made furniture.

Visitors to HIKO Hub are greeted by a multi-purpose social space designed to ignite ideas and foster connections. The hub includes a range of bookable meeting rooms and workspaces suitable for various business sizes, with brand alignment showcased through layered window treatments and a cohesive way-finding system. The result is a distinctive, visually compelling environment consistent with the idea of "Igniting Ideas that Matter."

The HIKO Hub project integrates social, environmental, and economic regeneration through thoughtful design. Economically, it facilitates partnerships between businesses and the University, driving growth and generating revenue. By acting as a business gateway and aligning with the HIKO brand ethos, the design enhances the University's reputation for innovation and sustainability, setting a new standard for university co-working spaces. This project showcases the power of design to create impactful, regenerative spaces within academic settings.

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