Wellington College New Memorial Hall

Wellington College New Memorial Hall

October 2018
Architecture +

With a rapidly expanding roll, Wellington College had outgrown their Memorial Hall. The existing 1968-era hall could only accommodate half of the school’s 1800 students. As their 150th anniversary celebrations loomed, the College’s Board of Trustees engaged Maycroft to build a state-of-the-art new 1600m2 hall which will be able to accommodate the entire school roll and provide a first-class performance venue. 

The cornerstone of the new steel-and-timber-framed hall is a striking stained-glass window taken from the original Memorial Assembly Hall built in 1926 to commemorate the staff and students who served in WWI. The original Hall was demolished in 1968 due to earthquake risk.read more

The new building is a combination of anchor piles, reinforced concrete ground beams and underground shear walls. A large number of structural steel bracing frames support the multi-storey facility. Our work also included decommissioning and demolition of the existing Memorial Hall (including salvage of the memorial brass and stain glass window), as well as paving and landscaping outside the new hall. Maycroft completed the landscaping in collaboration with the school property manager and his team.

During the contract the Board of Trustees approved Maycroft for a second package of works including ablution and change areas, as well as completion of a large area of mezzanine seating and stair access.

A key factor in the Board of Trustees decision to award the contract to Maycroft was our suggestion for an innovative warm roof option. The warm roof option de-risks the construction programme by making the building watertight much earlier than alternative construction methods. It also greatly reduced the time involved in forming the roof structure, significantly improving health and safety. Now complete, the building has improved insulation performance and vapour control, as well as greater acoustic performance, reduced maintenance and greater durability.

The project involved a number of significant challenges, including very tight tolerances for key construction details such as the stonework, aluminium cladding and metal claddings. Tight tolerances between the piles, reinforcing cages holding down bolts and structural componentry added further challenges

Wellington College remained fully operational as the new Memorial Hall was constructed so we had to carefully plan works to minimise disruption and keep students out of harm’s way. Close relationships with school staff and the WBC property manager were key to managing the construction successfully.

The new Memorial Hall was officially opened by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in November 2018.The state-of-the-art facility will provide many years of service for the school and the community.





Steel Construction NZ (SCNZ) Excellence in Steel Awards, 2019

The Wellington College Memorial Hall – Alan Gibbs Centre project was awarded the winner of the $500k to $1.5m category at the Steel Construction NZ (SCNZ) Excellence in Steel Awards, 2019

The SCNZ awards celebrate New Zealand’s excellence in the field of steel construction by identifying projects that demonstrate efficiency, cost effectiveness, application of sustainability principles, aesthetics, best practice, outstanding teamwork, great safety management and innovation.

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