Cable car building to get make-over

19:20, Aug 29 2011
Cable car
Designs for the first option - Andrew Sexton Architecture.
Cable car
Designs for the first option - Andrew Sexton Architecture.
Cable car
Designs for the first option - Andrew Sexton Architecture.
Cable car
Designs for the first option - Andrew Sexton Architecture.
Cable car
Designs for the second option - Bevin + Slessor.
Cable car
Designs for the second option - Bevin + Slessor.
Cable car
Designs for the second option - Bevin + Slessor.
Cable car
Designs for the second option - Bevin + Slessor.
Cable car
Designs for the second option - Bevin + Slessor.
Cable car
Designs for the second option - Bevin + Slessor.
Cable car
Designs for the second option - Bevin + Slessor.
Cable car
Designs for the second option - Bevin + Slessor.
Cable car
Designs for the second option - Bevin + Slessor.
Cable car
Designs for the second option - Bevin + Slessor.

THE top terminus of Wellington's cable car looks set for a revival after the unveiling of competing architectural plans.

Wellington Cable Car Ltd is proposing to redevelop its Kelburn terminus and is considering two different concepts. Construction of the chosen design is due to start in April next year and be completed by September.

The cable car is expected to remain in service throughout construction, although the company said it was possible that "operations may be interrupted for short periods".

The cable car, which began running in February 1902, goes from Lambton Quay to the top entrance to the Botanic Gardens every 10 minutes.

Chief executive Des Laughton said the company was seeking feedback on the proposals "from a wide range of stakeholders, including Wellington residents and cable car passengers".

Those interested in the plans could look at the concepts on display and complete feedback forms on the company's website, he wrote in an announcement on wellingtoncablecar.co.nz.

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One of architecture firms involved in the proposal, Andrew Sexton Architecture, said the terminus was an important landmark.

The firm proposed that the site become an "open public space", with features including an all- weather internal viewing platform, a rooftop observation platform and a sheltered information area for the Botanic Gardens.

"A portion of the floor within the terminus will be glazed, revealing the illuminated cable winding room below. The structure and construction of the terminus will also be expressed in the built form, with a series of prefabricated steel frames creating a cathedral-like space to showcase one of Wellington's most treasured icons," its proposal says.

The other proposal, from Bevin + Slessor Architects, said its concept was for a "simple, elegant and memorable building".

"Both the site and purpose of the building are unique, and the design will have a strong sense of belonging to its location, expression of the building's function and architectural response to the site."

Its proposal includes plans for natural light inside the terminus with view shafts to the city and gardens, weather protection for waiting passengers, enlarging the control room, and providing toilets and a lunchroom.

Details of the concepts are on display at Wellington Central Library, in the Lambton Quay terminus, the Skyline cafe at the Kelburn terminus and on the company's website.

Details of the concepts are on display at Wellington Central Library, in the Lambton Quay terminus, and in the Skyline café, until Monday 5 September.They can also be viewed at www.wellingtoncablecar.co.nz.

Related story: Cable car tagged in snow storm

The Dominion Post