The client, Willis Bond, required a building that could achieve superior resilience under extreme earthquake shaking – including a lower potential for damage in a severe event than a typical office building in Wellington.

With this design brief, the Tonkin + Taylor design team set out to deliver a building that would perform above and beyond typical Building Code requirements for an office building – at a level usually only required for hospitals and essential facilities.

The demanding design had to respond to the natural hazards of the reclaimed waterfront site, including seismic induced liquefaction and lateral spread.


  • Geotechnical investigations
  • Laboratory testing
  • Groundwater monitoring
  • Geotechnical engineering 
  • Liquefaction assessment
  • Lateral spreading assessment
  • Option development
  • Ground improvement design
  • Basement design
  • Foundation modelling 
  • Earthworks and ground improvement specification
  • Construction monitoring 
  • Project management 
  • Tsunami hazard assessment
  • Desktop study of historic sources of land contamination
  • Environmental investigation 
  • Sampling and laboratory testing 
  • Contaminated ground including asbestos assessment and disposal options


  • Willis Bond


  • 2013 – 2018

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Christchurch Town Hall

Downtown Infrastructure Programme (Quay St)

Downtown Infrastructure Programme (Quay St)



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