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Government Life Tower Building

Project Summary

Client: Government Life

Project Type: Office

Project Timeframe: 1985 - 1987

Architects: Works Consultancy

Project Description

In 1985 Government Life, then one of the country’s financial giants, called for tenders for a $5 million refurbishment of their Customhouse Quay headquarters. It was one of the biggest refurbishments Wellington had seen and LT McGuinness’s biggest job to date.

Constructed in 1936, the building was an art-deco classic: strong, hot-steel riveted and encased in concrete. Computers were just coming into vogue and the building became Wellington’s first to have raised timber floors so that ‘the spaghetti’ – the computer, power and telephone cabling – could run underneath. The total flooring area was 150,000 square feet. Each floor had to be demolished and re-built while staff kept normal operations running. It was a tight timeframe with 12 weeks allocated for each floor.

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