Three years ago there was a splash of publicity about my company building a wooden structure high-rise office-building in Wellington. Subsequently people frequently asked me what happened to this.
The photo below shows a current ariel shot from our offices. Soon the roof will go on and that’s the last we will see of its wooden content other than some floors for ornamental reasons.
It will look like any other building (with one qualification I’ll come to) as the wooden component applies to its structural columns’ and beams’ components.
These have superior fire and earthquake resistant qualities. As they comprise laminated timber, in a fire at worst they simply char, whereas conventional steel or reinforced steel enclosed in concrete will buckle.
We are not developers but wanted the site, but not the dog on it, thus this new construction.
The qualification to it looking like any other building alluded to above, is it will look immensely better than most other buildings. Why? Because I designed it. We then employed architects to draw up the plans.
Sydney’s CBD has been ruined by ugly new high-rise glass boxes, so too increasingly in Auckland and Wellington. In the latter city’s case, completely unnecessarily, office buildings have been built recently with criss-cross steel beams on earthquake strengthening grounds. It’s madness and pays no regard to the occupants who do not want to gaze at such hideousness, nor is it necessary.
Anyway, our building will be finished in March next year.
Some years ago I wrote about the high incidence of architects’ wives running off with rubbish collectors, beggars, stop-go sign holders and the like. Trust me, it’s totally explicable and all about in our CBDs you can see the reason why.
I refer of course, solely to commercial building architects who to a man (there are no women office-building architects in my experience) are mind-blowingly dreary buggers and insist on proving it with their output.