SKY CITY has a habit of doing things in a big way. The Sky Tower project a few years ago presented the local construction industry with probably its most exciting challenge. While it is not quite on the same scale, their new Hotel and Convention Centre which is nearing completion, is a very significant addition to the Auckland skyline as well. On completion it will have consumed over 11,000 cubic metres of insitu concrete plus a huge amount of precast concrete beams, flooring and panels.
The entire project started in May 2002 with the Sky City Convention Centre on Federal Street
facing on to the main Sky City complex. This was completed in March this year. Stage two of the
project is the 316 room, 22 level Sky City Grand Hotel which is due for completion early next year.
Fletcher Construction are the main contractors. Craig Craig Moller were the architects, Beca Carter the engineers and the project is being managed by RCP. Bryan Perry Limited undertook the piling.
The Sky City Convention Centre has been operational since completion. It is linked to the main Sky City complex over Federal Street by glass air bridges. The Sky City Grand Hotel is being built on the Albert Street side and above the Convention Centre. It is also to be linked by two air bridges to the main Sky City complex. To minimise noise levels Fletcher Construction built temporary walls between the completed Convention Centre and the Hotel construction zones. But those walls have just come down as they begin the finishing stages and fit-out of the $75 million hotel. Ideally the two buildings would have been built together, but when Fletcher Construction started the Convention Centre Sky City was still negotiating to buy the site next door.
Fletcher Construction project manager Alan Gray says the $135 million Convention Centre/Hotel is “up there with Te Papa” on his list of difficult projects.
“Some of my guys who have been working with me over the years, say it [the convention centre] was one of our biggest challenges, but we always knew it would be.” The conference rooms were designed to seat 1500 people and required large uninterrupted spaces, meaning no columns blocking the view. To enable such large, open spaces, engineers Beca Carter’s plan included 22-tonne trusses to support the roof and several floors below it. Concrete ‘shear’ walls support the weight.
The hotel, perched on top of the convention centre, is more typical work for a builder, Mr Gray said. “Like most hotels it’s repetitive because you’re building all those rooms. But it’s exciting to work on a premiere hotel. We will shortly be starting work on an upmarket restaurant for the hotel which is an unusual design.”
The overall floor area of the Sky City Convention Centre is 14,500 square metres. On completion the Sky City Grand Hotel will be 26,000 square metres.
Firth Certified have provided all the 45 Mpa insitu concrete for the Sky City Hotel and Convention Centre project. Stresscrete have supplied precast, double t’s, Dycor flooring, cruciforms and stair treads. Wilco Concrete have also supplied precast beams.