Highly complex projects bring out the best in Hawkins

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The Bay of Plenty has experienced rapid, continued growth in the last few years, and Hawkins is proud to play a significant role in shaping the region’s development.

Hawkins has been involved as the main contractor in three key projects in Tauranga and Rotorua including 38 Elizabeth (Farmer’s development), the Sir Howard Morrison Performing Arts Centre, and Wai Ariki Spa.

38 Elizabeth, Tauranga

38 Elizabeth is New Zealand’s largest development outside of Auckland. It will play a central role in revitalising Tauranga’s city centre with its unique mix of retail, dining and living that has not been seen before in the city.

This year we successfully handed over the retail project, including a brand-new Farmer’s department store, now open to the public. The next steps include the completion of the food and beverage terrace – available to the public and apartment residents – and apartment show homes which will showcase the premium nature of the inner-city apartments to interested buyers. The staged apartments highlight the key qualities of the apartments for sale, including a stunning outlook over the city and premium finishes that echo the quality of the entire 38 Elizabeth development.

Central Regional Manager Brent Fleming says the next stage of the development – the food and beverage terrace, is tracking well and is expected to be complete by mid-2022 despite the challenges Covid-19 has presented.

“The completed milestones and the expected completion date for the food and beverage terrace are a credit to the tremendous work of the project team who have worked hard to mitigate the ongoing disruptions to the supply chain,” says Brent.

Wai Ariki Spa, Rotorua

Wai Ariki Spa is a transformational project on the shores of Lake Rotorua. Commissioned by Pukeroa Oruawhata Trust, the development is set to hero Rotorua as the spa and wellness destination of the Southern Hemisphere – revitalising the city’s original purpose as a leading health and wellness region with a focus on manaakitanga.

The project will also create new jobs and boost the local economy at a welcome time as borders begin to re-open for tourists.

Artists impression Wai Ariki Spa

Due to the complexity of the Wai Ariki Spa development, Hawkins has been involved since the project’s inception, including two years before breaking ground, working cohesively with the client and design team to understand the design brief and budget thoroughly.

Brent says, “Wai Ariki Spa is set to breathe life into the spa and wellness industry in Rotorua. The team is well placed to help the Pukeroa Oruawhata Trust bring this ambitious development to life.”

The structure of the new health and wellness centre is well underway, with a combination of precast concrete elements, in situ concrete and structural steel making up the frame of the building.

The complexity of the roof structure’s design, combined with the complications working with geothermal pools brings, plus the level of building services required, led the team to develop several innovations to bring these three elements together cohesively.

“The prefabrication and assembly approach was one of the key innovations for this project,” says Brent.

“We are prefabricating the complex roof in sections on the ground beside the building, ready to be lifted into place.”

The solutions developed also helped deal with some of the supply challenges the entire industry is facing and despite the ongoing disruptions, the project is well on track for completion at the end of 2022.

The Sir Howard Morrison Performing Arts Centre, Rotorua

The Sir Howard Morrison Performing Arts Centre (SHMPA) will once again become home to Rotorua’s thriving cultural and performing arts community.

Following a seismic risk assessment in late 2017, the original venue was closed due to safety issues. Classified as a Category 1 historic place and originally built in 1931, the building was deemed highly earthquake-prone with additional asbestos and water tightness issues making the character-filled building uninhabitable.

Artist impression of Sir Howard Morrison Performing Arts Centre, Rotorua

Hawkins was bought on as the main contractor early in the project to assist in planning and mitigate the risk of the several challenges the beautiful but hazardous building presented and breathe life into a historic building safely without losing its character and charm.

“The 1930s construction has certainly thrown in some conundrums, but we love a challenge and the chance to refurbish a piece of New Zealand’s architectural history,” says Brent.

The Hawkins team is working hard to get the building weathertight to allow the interior finishes to progress. Significant progress has already been made in the existing auditorium, allowing theatre services work to start next month. Despite the challenges we’ve already seen with the Omicron variant storming New Zealand, the project is expected to be completed in mid-2022.

Brent says that despite the knock-on effect Covid-19 has on not only our projects but our people, these highly complex projects bring out the best in us.

“I’m really proud of how the Hawkins team across the region have adapted to the ever-changing environment and always remained focused on finding solutions that are best for each project.”

Reaching these milestones is a real testament to the agility and solutions orientated nature of the project teams,” says Brent.

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