News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


New approach to earthquake strengthening

Wellingtonians are well aware of the damage earthquakes can cause and the strengthening that has been necessary in many of their inner city buildings.

In protected historic buildings, such as Wellington’s Turnbull House, upgrading is normally hidden inside the structure. The aim is to preserve the period style of the building as much as possible.

But why hide earthquake strengthening? Buildings can be upgraded with architectural integrity and expression. Strengthening can be beautiful, modifying a historic building for the better.

So says Mark Taylor of Victoria University’s School of Architecture and Design.

Taylor and his colleagues Julieanna Preston and Andrew Charleson form a Research Design Team that has come up with some "intentionally provocative" proposals that turn the common approach to earthquake strengthening on its head.

Their ideas can be seen at a free exhibition entitled ‘Moments of Resistance’ which opens at Wellington’s Public Library on March 17.

Their drawings, sketches and models feature new and positive ideas for earthquake strengthening that aim to enrich the internal and external structure of Wellington’s buildings rather than preserve their original façades.

Keen to give something back to the city, the research team chose Wellington’s Turnbull House and a generic 1960’s office block as their guinea pigs for seismic refurbishment.

The office block, chosen for its generic modern style, has been ‘anchored’ to the ground with a web of steel pipes over three external walls. Inspired by the ‘she’ll be right’ brand of kiwi-ingenuity, the building is structurally ‘propped’ and secured with clamps with wire ties reminiscent of number eight fencing wire.

Turnbull House was selected for its historical significance, conservation value and distinctive brick bearing walls. The team have covered these walls with steel studs that secure the bricks but are also highly decorative. In the interior, new and intricate wall linings of steel and timber make the building structurally sound as well as beautiful.

"We’ve been careful to capture the character of the existing architecture but we’ve also made these buildings into new and different structures" says Taylor.

"We see no reason to keep what is a European architectural style historically pure—it was imposed on the New Zealand landscape. In our models the earthquake strengthening modifies the building so that it reflects its colonial heritage but is grounded in the New Zealand environment".

"We wanted to question current conventions of earthquake strengthening with a positive contribution that would open up discussion amongst architects, planners and engineers" says Taylor.

"And we hope that Wellington’s residents will come and have a look".

The exhibition runs from March 17 to 8 April 2000.

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Scoop Review Of Books: Almost Getting Away With Murder

The Black Widow by Lee-Anne Cartier: Lee-Anne Cartier is the sister of the Christchurch man found to have been murdered by his wife, Helen Milner, after an initial assumption by police that his death, in 2009, was suicide. More>>

Howard Davis: Triple Echo - The Malevich/Reinhardt/Hotere Nexus

Howard Davis: The current juxtaposition of works by Ralph Hotere and Ad Reinhardt at Te Papa perfectly exemplifies Jean Michel Massing's preoccupation with the transmigration of imagery in a remarkable triple echo effect... More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Nō Tāu Manawa

Vaughan Rapatahana responds to Fale Aitu | Spirit House by Tusiata Avi.

9 Golds - 21 Medals: NZ Team Celebrates As Rio 2016 Paralympic Games Close

The entire New Zealand Paralympic Team, led by kiwi sprinter and double gold medallist Liam Malone as flag bearer, are on the bus to the Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro for the Closing Ceremony of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. There, they will celebrate the fantastic successes of the past 10 days. More>>


New Zealand Improv Festival: The Festival Of Moments To Return To The Capital

The eighth incarnation of the New Zealand Improv Festival comes to BATS Theatre this 4-8 October , with a stellar line-up of spontaneous theatre and instant comedy performed and directed by top improvisors from around New Zealand and the world. More>>


CDF Tim Keating: NZ Somme Centenary

"Our generals also knew what to expect, and they built that knowledge into their planning. Each of the four set-piece attacks was fought with a single brigade, with the expectation that the brigade would be used up. A fresh brigade would then be brought up to conduct the next set-piece..." More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news