An iconic landmark for New Zealand’s windy capital – Airways’ new control tower at Wellington Airport combines very high levels of resilience and safety with excellent functionality and stunning design.
Part of Airways’ $250 million investment in aviation technology and infrastructure upgrades, the new tower has replaced the existing 58-year-old tower which wasn’t meeting modern air traffic control requirements.
Airways wanted something safe and functional that would integrate seamlessly with both the existing and proposed future airport environment. With the airport located in an active seismic zone, close to Lyall Bay, a high level of resilience was also critical to ensure the tower would remain fully operational in the event of a major earthquake or tsunami.
The new, iconic, 9-storey tower is positioned to maximise operational efficiency and visibility – with a 360 degree view of the airfield. All aspects from the structure to the services have been designed to a high seismic standard and rigorously tested. It also cleverly references the windy capital, leaning into the prevailing northerly wind at 12.5 degrees.
We provided building services design, collaborating closely with the wider project team to ensure seamless integration with the architectural and structural elements. Being a relatively compact building, we used 3D-modelling to design and plan the services and achieve a seamless fit.
Sitting above a seven-metre ‘tsunami safety zone’ are critical systems that allow the control tower to continue operations in the event of an emergency – including a standby generator, a self-sufficient water supply and wastewater drainage for showers and toilets, and an independent data centre.
Managing central New Zealand’s air traffic is now safer, more efficient and better looking than ever before.