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Kelburn Cable Car Terminus
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Kelburn Cable Car Terminus


Underlying the development of the scheme is the notion that the Kelburn Cable Car Terminus is a transport hub and an important node in the network of the Cable Car/Botanic Garden visitor precinct. The arrival, discovery and departure pathways and view shafts are explored and given an architectural form. The scheme also addresses the experience of movement and connections at this node, together with the existing platform layout planning and the precinct landform.

The scheme articulates the ideas of movement and shelter with the development and structural system of laminated timber portal frames supported by round steel columns. Portal frames are progressively rotated as they descend the site. This enhances the concept of movement that is experienced through both arrival and departure. A simply constructed roof layer over the portals describes the resulting elegant twist roof form.

The primary structural element, the laminated timber portal, allows for a clear architectural language and form; off-site prefabrication and a cost-effective structural system of laminated timber is integrated with supporting steel, cross bracing and the glazing system.

The laminated timber portals were selected as a structural material to support the roof and with the glazing system they are the key conceptual idea. The timber portals are held by a secondary support system of steel columns.

Kelburn Cable Car Terminus cable car

Kelburn Cable Car Terminus entrance

Kelburn Cable Car Terminus

Kelburn Cable Car Terminus interior

The circulation areas all required barriers and these were formed in steel painted in the Resene Blast Grey range with steel balustrade rails in Resene Blast Grey 1, steel fascia in Resene Blast Grey 2 and steel columns in Resene Blast Grey 3. The combination of raw steel and timber reinforced the mechanical nature of pulling the cable car up and down the hill. The original specified spray finish in a windy and dense construction site provided some challenges. Eventually this was changed to rolled on Resene Enamacryl Metallic and a Resene Uracryl coat over the top.

Resene Blast Grey 1
Resene Blast Grey 1
Resene Blast Grey 2
Resene Blast Grey 2
Resene Blast Grey 3
Resene Blast Grey 3

The construction of an enclosure with a series of timber ribs echoes the construction methods of the early cable car carriages and is also seen in boat building methodology.

Architectural specifier: Bevin Slessor
Building contractor: Fletcher Construction
Client: Wellington Cable Car Ltd
Photographer: Paul McCredie

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