GOVERNMENT CENTRE CARPARK

PROJECT TYPE: COMMERCIAL BUILDINGS

USE: CARPARK RETAIL

LOCATION: STOUT STREET, WELLINGTON

CLIENT: GOVERNMENT PROPERTY SERVICES

ARCHITECTS: CDC ARCHITECTS

PROJECT TIMEFRAME: 1995

The Government Centre carpark on the corner of Stout and Ballance Streets was LT McGuinness’s first multi-storey concrete building and the forerunner of later major construction jobs downtown.

The firm had a hand in the carpark’s design, which had to complement heritage features of the Mission to Seamen building next door. Great care was taken during construction not to damage the historic brick structure, particularly during the first phase which was to repile the reclaimed land. Deep shafts were dug to fit the piles’ steel casings and constant pumping was needed to clear the holes as they filled up on the incoming tide.

Not least of the technical and engineering challenges was craning material on and off the congested site, one where thousands of commuters stream past every day to the nearby railway station. A leased tower crane was used, a highly skilled task with Wellington’s winds a constant danger.

The job featured massive concrete pours and materials the firm hadn’t used before, such as a new type of cladding. The carpark, which was completed on schedule, provides parking for 293 cars and 1300 square metres of ground floor retail space.