ADAM ART GALLERY

PROJECT TYPE: COMMERCIAL BUILDINGS

USE: EDUCATIONAL

LOCATION: VICTORIA UNIVERSITY, WELLINGTON

CLIENT: VICTORIA UNIVERSITY

ARCHITECTS: ATHFIELD ARCHITECTS

PROJECT TIMEFRAME: 1999

This tall sliver of a building on the Kelburn campus is sandwiched between three other university structures, creating a wind trap which posed special construction challenges.

The gallery sits on rubber bearings designed to compress during an earthquake. Getting its steel frames plumb in such a tight wedge was extraordinarily difficult, particularly as putting the black zinc cladding in place threatened to knock the frames out of alignment. This was solved by pre-loading them then connecting insulated pre-cast panels to keep it watertight. This was all done while incorporating a pre-existing stairway.

A major art exhibition was staged to celebrate the opening of the gallery, which remains a well-used campus showpiece.