Seismic Strengthening of the Majestic Centre

Structural Designer

Holmes Consulting

Client Name

Kiwi Property Group


Wellington, New Zealand

PRINCIPAL CONTRACTOR: Fletcher Construction     

ARCHITECT: Opus Architecture            

PROJECT MANAGER: The Building Intelligence Group


The Majestic Centre is an iconic landmark in the centre of Wellington, New Zealand. Constructed circa 1991, it is a 30 storey modern office tower. New Zealand sits on the ‘pacific ring of fire’; a highly active seismic region. The building was assessed in 2011 using a “performance based” approach and found to have a lower than expected seismic performance. Over the last five years the building has been systematically strengthened while remaining fully tenanted. The project has spurred new assessment and strengthening techniques and overcome several major logistical challenges to reach a successful completion.

Judge's comment:

The strengthening works of this existing landmark 30-Storey office tower in Wellington, New Zealand, on the Pacific ‘Ring of Fire’ impressed the Judges through the evident diligence and added-value applied to the refurbishment.

The strengthening works affected the entire structure, from the fundamental to the subtler details. It is evident that the engineers carefully studied the challenges, identifying their impact and risks, resolving these pragmatically and diligently. Furthermore, the works were designed and carried out in a manner that enabled rental income to be gained throughout.

The building’s value had reduced by a third as a result of the initial seismic assessment. On completion of the strengthening the building’s value had almost doubled. This increase in value outweighed the costs of the works, which were largely covered by income from rent during those works. The excellence of the structural solution and construction sequencing delivered this value.

The owner maintained near full tenancy throughout (currently 96%) and signed long term lease agreements with almost all tenants. This pattern looks set to continue after the building’s excellent performance during the subsequent Kaikoura Earthquake (Nov ’16).

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