All about that base

Construction on Wellington’s first base-isolated apartment building has begun.

Victoria Lane Apartments, a $140 million mixed-use development, is one of Wellington’s first major construction projects to start post-lockdown. A special feature is the 24 base isolators that effectively separate the superstructure from the ground.

The building is the first base-isolated residential development in the city, and the largest in New Zealand. Developers Willis Bond say it’s wrapped in a diagonal grid of steel to give it extra rigidity and means the building is designed to withstand a 1-in-1,000-year earthquake. This compares to other high-rise buildings, which are generally designed to withstand 1-in-100-year seismic events.

The project is designed by Athfield Architects (see Capital #72) with structural design by Dunning Thornton Consultants, and constructed by LT McGuinness. Willis Bond director, Dave McGuinness, says, “It’s great to know that this is one of the projects that will help get Wellington moving again following the COVID-19 Lockdown and will see a highly resilient residential and commercial asset delivered to serve the city for years to come.” He estimates almost 300 jobs have been created and the build programme is expected to take two and a half years.

A ground breaking event in early August saw the classic line-up of suited men with shovels.

Mark McGuinness, Andy Foster, Grant Roberston, Dave McGuinness

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