Wellington Scoop
Network

Hoardings around Town Hall and walkway closed as brickwork is secured

civic-square-and-town-hall

News from WCC
Work starts next week on the major upgrade of the Wellington Town Hall. It was closed in 2013 because of its earthquake prone rating and is scheduled to re-open in 2021 as a joint venue for the Wellington City Council, Victoria University’s New Zealand School of Music and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.

The work starting next week, which will take a few months, will secure the unreinforced masonry (bricks). This is because of government legislation following the Kaikoura earthquake.

The work starting next week means:

Wooden hoardings will go up around the building for public safety and the walkway between the Town Hall and the Michael Fowler Centre will be closed.
The lift in Civic Square will not be working, as it will be inside the hoardings. There is an alternative accessible route to the City to Sea Bridge from Harris Street.
Wakefield Street will remain open. There will be the temporary loss of some short term car parks. Traffic management will be reviewed late in 2018.
The i-SITE (111 Wakefield Street) will remain open.
The Michael Fowler Centre will remain open. However, the MFC carpark will be closed from late May for the New Zealand Ballet rehearsal space to be built.
Safety barriers will be placed along the Town Hall’s Wakefield Street and Civic Square sides.

In June 2017 the Council approved nearly $90 million to upgrade and earthquake strengthen the Town Hall to 100 percent of the New Building Standard. The work will include re-piling and ‘base isolation’ (the building will rest on flexible pads that lessen shaking during an earthquake).

The main strengthening and upgrade will start later in 2018, once the brickwork is secure. It will have these features:

The tiered Ilott Theatre will become a flat floor space suitable for standalone performances and a support space for the main auditorium.

The West Hall (between the Town Hall and the Municipal Office Building) will be rebuilt to provide access from Wakefield Street to Civic Square and a link to the adjacent building.

The main auditorium will have a new, stronger floor.

A new basement under the main auditorium will provide public toilets and usable space.

Servicing storage and public facilities will be improved, including better loading facilities in the main auditorium with a second stage lift.

The Town Hall pipe organ has been restored and will be reinstalled.

Why we are doing this work

The Town Hall was deemed ‘earthquake prone’ in 2009 (it complied with less than 33 percent of the New Building Standard). The building was closed after the Seddon earthquake in 2013.

The Town Hall site is reclaimed land and is prone to liquefaction in an earthquake. The building sits on ageing, unreinforced concrete piles making the structure unreliable in an earthquake. The upgrade project will resolve both these factors, making the Town Hall a stronger and safer civic and event space.

Heritage

The Town Hall opened in 1904 and is one of the city’s most important heritage buildings. It is a listed heritage building in the District Plan and has a Heritage New Zealand Category One rating, meaning it has high cultural and heritage value for the city.

Musical excellence

The upgraded Town Hall will be part of a national centre for musical excellence. The Council is collaborating with Victoria’s New Zealand School of Music and the Zealand Symphony Orchestra to make Civic Square a location for musical performance, education, culture and the arts in Wellington.

1 comment:

  1. greenwelly, 4. May 2018, 16:56

    >The lift in Civic Square will not be working, as it will be inside the hoardings. There is an alternative accessible route to the City to Sea Bridge from Harris Street

    The lift in Civic Square is around 15 metres from the Town Hall. On the southern side, 15 metres would include eastern traffic on Wakefield Street. But there is no mention that the footpath on the southern side of the Town Hall will be closed, or whether the tourist bus stops will be moved. [The council says, without details: Wakefield Street will remain open. There will be the temporary loss of some short term car parks.]