News | 17 August 2016

Council opts for big, bold, beautiful design

Councillors have today voted unanimously for a big, bold design to house the Movie Museum and Convention Centre.

Design of new Movie Museum and Convention Centre building by Studio Pacific Architecture.
Studio Pacific Architecture's design for the Movie Museum and Convention Centre.

Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says that by favouring the $150 million option over the more basic alternative, the decision confirms the Council’s commitment to investing in the city to drive economic growth and global recognition.

“The operational costs over the first 10 years will be similar to what was consulted on, however the benefits will be far greater,” says the Mayor.

“Wellington deserves an outstanding Convention Centre and Movie Museum facility. Now we’ve confirmed it will be truly spectacular and globally recognisable. International visitors will take ‘selfies’ in front of this spectacular building, which will attract even more people to our city. We’re creating the heritage of tomorrow.

“Today’s Council decision gives the green light to this key economic development project, and gives TMML sufficient time to complete their work on the exhibition and fit-out design and requirements.”

The Movie Museum Limited (TMML) is the company formed by Sir Peter Jackson and Sir Richard Taylor and is responsible for the fit out and operation of the Museum component of the project.

Deputy Mayor Justin Lester says the decision to endorse the iconic building design – by Studio Pacific Architecture - was the correct one.

“The Movie Museum will provide a one of a kind experience so it’s absolutely appropriate that we deliver a one-of-a-kind design,” he says.

“Wellington will be able to provide a film-based visitor experience unrivalled anywhere else in the southern hemisphere, and possibly the world,” says Cr Lester. “It generates some serious ‘wow factor’ and will create 540 jobs during construction and 568 ongoing jobs once operational.”

Cr Jo Coughlan, Chair of the City Council’s Economic Growth and Arts Committee, says the Capital’s GDP will receive a significant boost.

“Construction alone will deliver a $44 million boost to the Wellington economy and ongoing benefits of $38 million per year in GDP,” she says. “It’ll be a huge boost to our offering in the lucrative convention market, providing a remarkable visitor experience for the delegates that will provide a competitive advantage for Wellington.

“The 300,000 people – most from overseas - who visit Hobbiton in the Waikato every year show the pulling power of the work of Sir Peter Jackson and Sir Richard Taylor. Many of those tourists will be tempted to carry on to Wellington to visit the museum.”

George Hickton, Project Director for The Movie Museum Limited (TMML), says: “The Movie Museum Limited welcomes the Council’s decision to proceed with the iconic design for the exterior of the combined facility.

“Our team has been busy working on detailed plans, designs and costings for the content and fit-out of the Movie Museum and that will be our main focus for some time to come. When we get to the end of that phase, we hope to share more about the vision for the Museum interior of what will be a dynamic new building.”

In December 2015, the Council agreed to purchase two parcels of land on Cable Street opposite Te Papa, and Wakefield Street. Subsequent consultation showed that community support was high, with 84% of submitters supporting the proposal, and 100% of submitters from the commercial sector in support.

The cost of the final proposal has increased from $135 million outlined last December to $150 million, the key reason being the additional cost to deliver the aspirational façade design, together with other design enhancements since the early concept stage.

Today’s decision is conditional upon getting final go-ahead from TMML.

It is anticipated this project will drive considerable secondary investment in the city, particularly the regeneration of the surrounding Courtenay precinct, further increasing Wellington City’s rating base.