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Bowen Campus gaining momentum

Bowen Campus gaining momentum

Stage one of Precinct Properties’ Bowen Campus project in Wellington is achieving momentum with the Charles Fergusson Building completed in December.

Bowen Campus was acquired by Precinct Properties in 2012 and encompasses a hectare of freehold land at the heart of the government precinct adjacent to the Beehive and Parliament Buildings in Wellington. Stage one of the redevelopment will transform the Bowen State Building and Charles Fergusson Building.

The two 1960 and 1970’s office towers are being completely modernised to deliver highly efficient and cost effective workspaces for the public sector, says Scott Pritchard, CEO, Precinct Properties. The building works are being undertaken by L.T.

McGuinness and company director Sean McGuinness says the project has involved stripping each building back to the structural core, installing new glass facades and completing the necessary services and plant.

The Charles Fergusson Tower façade has generated additional floor space and better circulation by extending the existing floor plate on all four sides.

Sean says that the façade construction was undertaken in conjunction with the base building works requiring strong planning skills and the right building methodology to ensure a successful and timely result.

The building has been leased by the Ministry for Primary Industries and L.T. McGuinness has worked with this department on the internal fitout to meet their requirements.

Sean says that work on the Bowen State Building is progressing well and is du e for completion in the third quarter of 2019. This part of the project involves building extension works on the north and east side of the structure to increase the building’s floor area.

This has involved increasing bracing elements to the existing structure and constructing new sheer walls.

These walls required significant foundations including over 30 metre deep piles. Structural works to internal walls also included de-coupling – cutting movement joints for earthquake resilience.

Sean says the glass façade has a strong architectural element. The building will also cater for up to six retail tenancies to support the on site workforce when complete.

“It’s been a really great project to be a part of,” says Sean.

“It shows that when you work in partnership with the client and key stakeholders, with a good team of subcontractors, you can deliver exceptional end results.”

Bowen Campus gaining momentum

The Charles Fergusson Building has been completely modernised to deliver a highly efficient and cost effective workspace.


He says that a big part of the success of the project was the fact that L.T. McGuinness was involved in the project from the outset. Called Early Contractor Involvement, Sean says this is the way every construction project should be undertaken.

“This allows us to value engineer, work the programming and ensure we meet client and tenant expectations. “Engagement from all stakeholders right from the outset makes a job successful,” he says.

Precinct Properties is New Zealand’s largest owner of inner city business space and plans to expand its Bowen Campus with two new buildings at 40 and 44 Bowen Street.

Scott Pritchard says this will increase the offering with an additional 21,000sqm of office space, which on completion will result in a workforce of 5,000 across the four buildings.

“We’ve seen fantastic uptake in leasing from government agencies for the Bowen State and Charles Fergusson Buildings, which are leased until 2037 and 2033,” says Scott.

“40 and 44 Bowen Street felt like the natural next step in the reinvigoration of Bowen Campus, giving us the opportunity to expand the area and deliver more premium office space and a level of amenity and retail to the Wellington workforce.”

He says that the location offers an attractive work environment for both corporate occupiers looking for high-end office space and government agencies wanting close proximity to the Beehive and nearby government departments.

With a short walk to the CBD and public transport, and access to a network of laneways that will incorporate retail, cafes and other amenity, the area is desirable for a diverse range of tenants.

“With office vacancy in Wellington at record lows, we’re seeing strong demand for high-performance workspace and have had a large amount of interest from both private businesses and government agencies for offerings like 40 and 44 Bowen Street,” he says.

Precinct Properties has worked with Tennent Brown architects and Dunning Thornton engineers to design the new buildings, which will offer over 21,000sqm of leasable space.

Scott says that the design of the buildings creates exceptional efficiency and caters to modern ways of working. The buildings also employ a number of features to minimise earthquake damage risk and support business continuity.

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