A part of the landscape: The Wellington Airport Carpark Building takes off

 

Wellington Airport’s carpark building is big, bold and beautiful. It has also taken major effort to get from initial design to project completion. We stepped up at an early stage to ensure it could get off to a flying start.

The new $70 million building required careful planning. Inside the eight-storey building there is room for 1000 cars, as well as charging stations for electric cars, short-term parking and cycle facilities. The outside of the structure needed to match the dynamic landscape.

After a selected tender process we were awarded the work, our early involvement ensuring costing could be clear and concise when assessing different façade systems.

This precision was helped by the experience of the project team. We had partnered with Fletcher Construction on another recent project, the Royal Thai Embassy in Wellington, and both parties had a good idea of how each approached a project and delivered the goods.

Archaus Architects required a façade that would reflect the local environment – the blues, greens and greys of the sky, the sea and surrounding tree-covered hills. Having previously worked with the acclaimed firm we were excited to step up to the drawing board once more. From there it was a matter of façade production and delivery.

We knew such a project required considerable investment from our end and got to work moving the (bigger) pieces around. A new assembly plant was constructed in Levin, effectively doubling our footprint. We also bought a new crane to make certain the façade could be quickly moved into place. As importantly we looked outside the immediate team to see where new skills could best be introduced, employing dedicated project managers and staff.

The unique design and construction processes meant the façade could be fabricated in 8 metre long modules, ensuring over 150 square metres could be installed in a day. It was important this installation process was exact too – one piece out of place would have a dramatic affect.

The numbers alone give some idea of the size of this showcase project. The façade contains 50,000 fixings, the aluminium weighs 80 tonnes and there are 84 sheet variables. The final result will cover 6000 square metres of building.

With a 12-month contract, an 11-strong team, and unique crawler crane we had the right people and tools in place to soar ahead with the work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

$70 million

50,000 fixings

80 tonnes of aluminium

84 sheet variables

6000 square metres of building

1000 cars