The Build

WCEC will be built and operated to a very high standard, with excellence in accessibility to platinum standard, ISO 14001 (internationally recognised standard for environmental management), sustainable practices in design and build, and 5 green star rated.

WCEC Exterior lights people v2

Iconic Design

  • The WCEC will be an iconic landmark building delivering a civic and cultural statement for inner city 
  • The resulting building is a unique and soft flowing form wrapped in a shimmering surface facade
  • The façade is predominately clad in flowing glass panels that include secondary fabric and back panel shapes (termed SEFAR cladding) that will respond to differing light conditions through the day, giving visual interest, texture and variance to the building
  • It will set the standard for regeneration of the surrounding precinct which is generally under-utilised, under-productive and in need of investment.

The design has a unique sculptural form that draws inspiration from a wide of sources including its maritime location, Wellington’s dramatic and sometimes wild weather patterns and landforms. It also draws on Maori mythology, Wellington’s unique harbour

Daryl Calder, Studio Pacific Architecture


  • Targeting 5 Star Green Star certification representing New Zealand excellence for environmental sustainability (from Green Star NZ).
  • Enhanced thermal insulation and high-performance double glazing using unique SEFAR technology for improved thermal comfort and energy efficiency
  • 200KW solar power system for on-site renewable energy generation and reduced peak electrical load demand
  • Rainwater harvesting system (45,000 litres) to reduce water consumption and discharge to our stormwater systems
  • High efficiency LED lighting system and automatic controls for energy savings
  • High efficiency air conditioning system reducing reliance on fossil fuels
  • Leading edge energy optimisation systems to monitor and control energy usage
  • Structural Diagrid for building resiliency and reduced steel requirements
  • Environmentally preferable materials specification provide improved indoor air quality and reduced environmental impact
  • Timber materials sourced from sustainable forestry
WCEC overview page indoor concept
wcec inside concept


  • The building is designed to IL3 standards having considered the importance of resilience for this civic building which will be able to return to business as usual as quickly as possible after an event, or become a safe emergency centre within the central city.
  • Seismic design features include base isolation and the diagrid super structure
  • The ground floor sits 3.5m above sea level to ensure the risk of surface water flooding entering the building has been mitigated.
  • Designed to accommodate back-up generators, it has sustainable energy generation through the solar power system and rainwater harvesting to service toilets ensuring the building can be used as an emergency centre quickly after an event, even in the event of widespread services failure.

WCEC build - full timelapse

Info and statistics

Starting date  23rd September 2019
Render date July 2020

WCEC Progress - August 2020 

RENDER DATE August only