Te Manawa re­pairs

The Tribune (NZ) - - FRONT PAGE - RICHARD MAYS

‘‘The re­pairs will help tie the build­ings to­gether in a way that will per­form bet­ter seis­mi­cally.’’ Andy Lowe, Te Manawa

Un­der the tent atop Te Manawa, there’s a $170,000 pro­ject to fix the ‘‘knack­ered’’ slop­ing glass roof of the mu­seum’s in­ter­nal atrium.

A three-storey high glass topped area con­nect­ing four of Te Manawa’s nine core build­ings, the atrium has been closed off and filled with scaf­fold­ing while the ceil­ing’s failed dou­ble glazed tiles are be­ing re­moved.

Out­side on the roof, a canopy has been erected to keep the build­ing weather-tight while the glass roof­ing pan­els are un­fas­tened from their frames and re­placed. It also means work progress won’t be af­fected by ad­verse weather.

Pro­ject li­ai­son man­ager, Te Manawa’s Neil Martin, de­scribed the roof­ing glass as ‘‘bro­ken down’’.

In some ar­eas, the dou­ble glaz­ing has split open with the pan­els com­ing apart. Wa­ter has then pooled at the top of the lower wall and found its way down in­side the atrium.

The pro­ject also in­cor­po­rates seis­mic strength­en­ing to make the build­ing safer in the event of a ma­jor earth­quake.

‘‘There’ll be new steel brack­ets on the [sup­port] beams which will give the ef­fect of a float­ing roof,’’ Martin said.

The old panes will be stored on site and lifted down when the new glass ar­rives, pos­si­bly by the end of the month. Martin ex­pected the job to take five or six weeks to be com­pleted by Septem­ber 23.

Te Manawa’s chief ex­ec­u­tive Andy Lowe said they’d been putting up with the leak for years, while the pro­ject also ad­dresses other is­sues with the atrium.

‘‘We couldn’t have any­thing in the space that was frag­ile or could be dam­aged by wa­ter, and the re­pairs will help tie the build­ings to­gether in a way that will per­form bet­ter seis­mi­cally.’’

Sealed off from the pub­lic, the work won’t af­fect ac­cess to Te Manawa’s dis­play gal­leries.

The mu­seum’s nine core struc­tures, in­clud­ing the 1959 Isa Build­ing on Church St, were in­cor­po­rated into the com­plex which opened in 1993 ad­join­ing the art gallery.

It re­placed a much smaller brick build­ing on Church St.

Te Manawa’s $4 mil­lion foyer ex­ten­sion and up­grade, which in­cluded the New Zealand Rugby Mu­seum and closer ties with the art gallery and his­toric cot­tage, To­taranui, opened in time for the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

WAR­WICK SMITH/FAIR­FAX NZ

Dan Terp­stra is a mem­ber of the team re­plac­ing the roof tiles over the Te Manawa atrium.

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