Great War Exhibition is located on the ground level of the former Dominion Museum and National Art Gallery on Buckle Street in Wellington.
The remainder who occupied by Massey University, who occupied the building through the construction. The building is listed as category 1 by Heritage New Zealand, so the project required skilful design to achieve the optimum balance between heritage, the immersive exhibits and legislative compliance. The extremely tight timeframes added extra complexity to the project, and demanded smart, collaborative design and excellent communication between all the parties involved. Liaison with a heritage architect, consulting planners, Heritage New Zealand and Wellington City Council was essential in refining the design approach to achieve acceptance an acceptable solution and to ensure the necessary consents were obtained in a timely manner.
With a four and a half month programme to the Exhibition Opening date on ANZAC Day in 2015 our client was under extreme pressure to deliver a project in a very short time frame. There was no ability to change the delivery date as the exhibition was to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the start of World War Two and the associated events in the capital and around New Zealand.
The time challenge required all parties to work together to deliver an international standard exhibition to open on ANZAC day 2015. This challenge was compounded by long design time and sign off for the exhibition and the contractor being engaged in January 2015. Working as a team WSP Opus was very responsive to the changing client requirements and design evolution of the exhibit. We were very proactive and looked to resolve problems before they became problems on site in a collaborative team environment where the design team, client, exhibit designer and contractor worked together to deliver a highly successful world class exhibition on time.
Fully understanding the project user requirements and being extremely responsive and flexible to enable the design team and contractor to meet the extremely short delivery programme. Being able to respond quickly and think laterally to solve problems on site ensured there was not a delay in the project delivery.
The project was delivered on time and the exhibition opened on 100th Anniversary of ANZAC day for the country to visit and experience what World War One was about, the heroes and the loss New Zealand and New Zealand families suffered over this four year period.