Te Papa Tongarewa - The Museum of New Zealand
Te Papa Tongarewa is the National Museum of New Zealand located on the Wellington waterfront. Holmes Consulting Group were the structural engineers on this project in conjunction with Arup.
The site houses many artifacts of New Zealand's cultural heritage. With a design life of 150 years and located in the capital, an area of very high seismicity, the solution presented many challenges.
The museum is designed for heavy floor loads with a very large grid to maintain future flexibility for exhibitions and storage of collections.
The building foundation platform required ground improvement, with heavy weights dropped across the entire site over several months to compact the softer materials.
Te Papa itself is base isolated, resting on lead rubber bearings and teflon sliders that cushion the building, its occupants and contents from harmful earthquake effects. The museum features an exhibit about earthquakes and how the structure protects against them.
Te Papa can be virtually visited.