DAVID JONES

PROJECT TYPE: INTERIORS

USE: RETAIL

LOCATION: WELLINGTON CBD

CLIENT: DAVID JONES PTY LTD

ARCHITECTS: TENNENT AND BROWN

PROJECT TIMEFRAME: FEB-JULY 2016

This world-class retail store is the first international outlet for Australian retailer David Jones. It was an unprecedented challenge to create it in a timeframe of just 115 days. Three floors of a heritage-listed building in downtown Wellington were completely gutted so that new services and systems could be installed.

Construction began in February 2016, when a top team was assembled to handle the $15 million project. Each floor was treated as its own construction site with subcontractor trade packages let to specific floors. The floors were zoned so different trades could work concurrently as required, which also maintained the subs’ work flow.

The first job was to completely strip the interior back to a concrete shell. A new escalator void was put in and the three existing stairways removed and filled in. Once the structural works were completed the build became a traditional fit-out, with extensive gib work to the feature ceilings.

Thousands of metres of bulkheads and coffer ceilings were constructed in the huge ceiling area. The same area underfoot, totalling more than 6000m2 of retail space, is covered by tiling and timber flooring.

In Australia, David Jones’ stores have very high ceilings. But the Lambton Quay building, which had been home to a Kirkcaldies and Stains’ store for 152 years, was only 3.5m from slab to slab. This meant a lot of pre-planning for a coordinated, seismically-braced service system to achieve maximum heights.

Entry to the store is through one of five bronze portals with frameless glass doors. Two new independent chillers and boiler systems are part of the new heating and cooling system while at the top of the new escalators is a smart new café.

Excellent work by the entire crew, including subcontractors, saw the new store open on schedule on 28 July 2016.