RUTHERFORD HOUSE EXTENSION

PROJECT TYPE: COMMERCIAL BUILDINGS

USE: EDUCATION - UNIVERSITY

LOCATION: WELLINGTON

CLIENT: VICTORIA UNIVERSITY

ARCHITECTS: ATHFIELD ARCHITECTS

PROJECT TIMEFRAME: 2015-2017

A six-floor extension to Rutherford House at Victoria University’s Pipitea campus was an exciting project that posed a number of major challenges.

A key requirement was for normal classes and university operations to operate uninterrupted while construction took place. The project was hemmed in by a three-lane road, a bus terminus, subway tunnels and the live university campus. Thousands of commuters walk through the subway to Wellington railway station on a daily basis.

There were several handovers as the project progressed and the LT McGuinness team worked closely with the university to agree on their scope and demarcation. This followed through to working with consultant teams and Wellington City Council to ensure that all documentation and procedures surrounding partial handovers were agreed in advance.

The early piling works provided one of the greatest challenges. Some of the major piles took place adjacent to live subways and in some cases, on top of live subways, as well as having live university classrooms located next door. Major temporary works’ platforms were designed and installed to allow the piling works to proceed.

Noise and other activities that would disturb the campus were controlled by operating at agreed times or after hours. Working closely with the Wellington City Council, a traffic management plan was drawn up to manage loads and deliveries to site. The loading bay, operating on a busy road, was managed on a daily basis to ensure deliveries to site were undertaken only on an ‘as required’ basis.

The completed extension has created additional classrooms, theatre spaces and seminar rooms. Interiors of the ground and mezzanine floors have been completely refurbished and now transition into the new extension to create a welcoming open plan layout which includes retail spaces, a café, informal meeting areas and information stations. These changes have been well accepted by the students and staff who now use the facility.