Wellington’s iconic new air traffic control tower has marked a major milestone in its construction with the control cab roof craned into place today. The tower that has been designed to look as if it is leaning into Wellington’s prevailing wind is now at its final height.
One of Wellington’s largest mobile cranes was used to lift the ten-tonne steel roof structure atop the tower frame, which now stands at 32 metres.
Another finishing touch, a deck that sits at the seventh floor and helps to give the top of the tower its distinctive shape, was also installed by a crane yesterday.
“We’re proud to see the tower taking its final shape on the Wellington skyline,” Airways CEO Ed Sims says. “While there’s still a lot of work to come before the tower is operational, this is an exciting milestone.”
The cab is the tower’s operational centre and once complete it will provide controllers managing flights in and out of Wellington Airport with 360-degree views of the airfield.
With the first sod turned in January 2016, the tower has sprung to height in less than 18 months. It has been designed to meet 100 per cent of the building code for a structure of its importance level. Seismic safety features meant its partially finished frame was undamaged by earthquakes that hit Wellington in November 2016. Thirteen base isolators were installed within the building’s foundations to provide a higher level of resilience, and these functioned as expected during last year’s earthquakes.
Now the cab roof is in place, the next step will be to complete the tower cladding. The east and west faces are clad with folded aluminium panels while the north and south faces feature glass facades.
Hawkins Construction is building the $18 million tower in Wellington Airport’s retail shopping area on Tirangi Road.
“With the roof structure lifted into place, Hawkins is well on track to complete the project later this year,” Hawkins Project Manager Shane Beech says. “The tower combines excellent functionality with urban design and is sure to become a city landmark.”