$85m to earthquake-strengthen Wellington Town Hall

Wellington City Council plans to spend $84.9 million to strengthen its town hall to 100 percent of code.

The heritage building, which opened in 1904, was declared earthquake-prone in 2009.

It needs major strengthening to meet the code, including: 

  • new screw piles to replace the existing unreinforced pule foundations
  • base isolators installed underground
  • concrete overlay walls to stiffen perimeter unreinforced masonry walls
  • fixing of unreinforced masonry walls to reinforced concrete floors
  • strengthening of parapet walls to prevent toppling
  • concrete columns to strengthen the north auditorium wall
  • concrete floors to act as diaphragms in the roof of the West Hall
  • the complete demolition and reconstruction of the West Hall. 
Inside the Wellington Town Hall (Wellington City Council)
Inside the Wellington Town Hall (Wellington City Council)

Full repair and restoration of the hall's 1906 Norman & Beard Organ will also be undertaken.

It is also proposed that a National Music Hub be built within the hall, and the council is in talks with Victoria University and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.

Wellington Town Hall (Wellington City Council)
Wellington Town Hall (Wellington City Council)

Construction is expected to start in August 2018 and finish in June 2021.

"The Town Hall being closed has left a huge hole I the performance space in our city, and I'm excited we have the opportunity to restore it," says Deputy Mayor Paul Eagle.

$85 million to earthquake strengthen Wellington town hall
Wellington Town Hall (Wellington City Council)

The Beatles and the Rolling Stones are among the acts that have performed in the hall.

Wellingtonians will be consulted on the plan, and a final confirmation will be made in June.