Project of the Month | Wellington's 'Waikoukou' sets the standard for high-quality investments
The prestigious Property Council New Zealand Rider Levett Bucknall Property Industry Awards are presented to outstanding property developments or refurbishments across New Zealand. Above all, the Awards recognise buildings that provide an outstanding return and/or delivery of service potential on investment of funds. For some this means a return on speculative investment; for others it means creating a development that supports productive activities, which creates value for both owners and users.
For this year's supreme award winner, Waikoukou, located at 22 Boulcott Street in Wellington, the judges praised the property as an exemplary high-quality investment that delivered value to both it's owner, Maurice Clark director of McKee Fehl Construction and anchor tenant, Transpower.
Home to Transpower's Wellington offices and critical facilities, including the company's National Coordination Centre and server equipment, the redevelopment was a team project between developers Cheops Holdings, McKee Fehl Construction, Architecture+, Jasmax, BlackYard Engineering, Beca and Transpower.
The redevelopment of the five-storey building on Boulcott St cost an estimated $10m. It added a new office structure on top of the existing building, built a ground-to-roof central atrium with connecting bridges between the north and south buildings and created a laneway between Willis and Boulcott Streets.
The laneway leads to the Press Hall food hall complex, which Clark has also refurbished and opened in January.
McKee Fehl's general manager of the construction project Stephen Cummings said the win was "extremely satisfying and a huge boost" to the company and project partners.
"The project was extremely challenging due to the complexities of demolition, strengthening, building extension, new facade and subsequent new services and fit out."
Cummings credited McKee Fehl workers, Transpower, and the base build and fitout consultants for integrating into a "highly functional team" and exceeding all expectations on the project.
Property Council chief executive, Connal Townsend, said Waikoukou was "a landmark that would help transform the capital". The project was also recognised at the Master Builders Commercial awards, taking home the commercial project prize, and at the Wellington Architecture Awards, where it won the commercial architecture award and interior architecture award.