Over the last few days Wellington has been gifted with beautiful sunny days. However, unfortunately, the future of 61 Molesworth Street is comparatively far gloomier. Demolition of this earthquake-damaged building in Wellington’s CBD began yesterday; just one week after the 7.8 magnitude earthquake rattled the City. The seismic activity on 14th of November substantially damaged the nine-storey building, leaving it at imminent risk of collapsing.
A 110-tonne long-reach digger, with a hydraulic hammer attached, is being used to deconstruct the building from top to bottom. This monumental machine was selected because of its ability to essentially crunch through the building’s concrete and steel structure. Surprisingly however, Mike Scott, Wellington City Council’s Manager of Building Consents and Compliance, said this dismantling process will be “relatively quiet”.
This deconstruction procedure has posed a serious risk to the surrounding area, forcing many of the nearby properties around the building to close. Some of these include the National Library, the Thai Embassy and the New Zealand Rugby headquarters. The building is also said to have asbestos in it as well, but fortunately this is said to have been controlled.
This deconstruction is one of many that will be seen around Wellington’s CBD in the forthcoming weeks and months, but in an attempt to find a silver lining, it will hopefully mark the beginning of some new and exciting construction opportunities for the City.
You can see some demolition footage here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=9&v=bgoQfDeMdng