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New vet hospital a first for NZ’s South Island

Entry area of Rangiora Vet Centre's new clinic.

Entry area of Rangiora Vet Centre’s new clinic.

The first veterinary hospital for large and small animals in New Zealand’s South Island has been officially opened in the North Canterbury town of Rangiora.

The Rangiora Vet Centre’s new 1,000sqm state-of-the-art facility on the corner of Oxford and Lehmans roads replaces the 50-year-old practice’s previous clinic, which was half the size.

It’s not every day architects have monkeys, rhinoceroses, giraffes and reptiles as their end users, but that was the order of the day for Context Architects in designing the hospital, which opened late last month.

Unique in catering to large and small animals, as well as more exotic patients from the nearby Orana Wildlife Park, the practice also provides specialised equine medicine and full dairy farming services.

The building features some of the most sophisticated animal medicine facilities available including an in-house laboratory, pharmacy, digital x-ray suite, six consultation rooms, three surgery rooms, sterile areas and an isolation facility.

The facility has been created to be sympathetic to its rural surroundings, with two linear pitched roof barns running parallel to each other and the main strategic road leading into Rangiora.

The longer elements of the barns are clad in profiled metal, wrapped from the walls over the roof in contrast to the hi-tech treatment areas within. Timber details and weatherboard gables provide texture and colour.

At the heart of the building a central courtyard creates natural light and ventilation for circulation spaces and informal work areas. Facing north, large open-plan office spaces and a multi-purpose staff and conference room are positioned to make good use of natural light and to overlook the paddocks and a distant Mount Grey.

Fronting the key corner to the south east, the retail and reception area provides a large waiting space segregated by patient type and a children’s play area.

Context provided a full service for the design of the building from concept to construction management.

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