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Iconic Mountaineer revealed in Queenstown first

Press release from Rilean Construction, Queenstown
Friday 14 December 2007

Iconic Mountaineer revealed in Queenstown first

Building sites are common in Queenstown, but Rilean Construction’s quirky idea to ‘dress’ their work on the iconic Mountaineer building is proving popular.

In a first for Queenstown, the redevelopment of the historic landmark is being masked by a life-sized pictorial representation, printed on hessian, of how the building front will look in its restored state.

Gary Dent, Rilean Construction Director, said his inspiration was a recent trip to China where he came up with the idea to dress the building and give passers by a taste of things to come.

“I was visiting China’s Forbidden City in July. From a distance it looked like the city was open for exploration, but when we got nearer I realised we were actually looking a clever fascia dressing, erected while the city was being enhanced for the Beijing Olympics.

“I was convinced this would work really well for The Mountaineer. I chatted to the developers, Westwood Group Holdings, and they were all for it,” said Gary.

The pictorial hessian sheeting was purpose-designed and printed in Queenstown to cover a site measuring 6m tall x 30m wide, totalling 180 square meters. It will remain on site until scaffolding is removed later in the project.

“This type of fascia hasn’t been used in Queenstown before and it’s not even that common across New Zealand. We thought it was a perfect way to showcase how the restored Mountaineer front will appear on the Corner of Rees, Shotover and Beach Streets soon.”

“The added benefit is that the hessian will keep the site tidy, safe and encloses a lot of the dust on site, not on the street.”

One hundred and twenty years of history will be reflected in the restoration of the building façade and the interior rebuild, due for completion by 2009.

“It’s a real honour for us to help preserve this heritage building and it’s my most satisfying job in thirty years; a real one off. We’re working closely with archeological experts and following a conservation plan as the project progresses.”


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