The Rock announcement in 2008 piqued international interest from tourism, design and infrastructure industries, once again putting Wellington Airport and Wellington City on the world map. This building is defined by its edges and its EDGYNESS!
The Rock offers a traveller experience unlike any airport terminal in the world. It balances personality, presence and our Wild at Heart attitude with meticulous planning and careful allocation of resources.
The bold and dramatic design is in contrast to the bland halls that typify most international airports. The inspiration for the design lies in the geological, historical and mythological past of Wellington’s south coast.
It references the story of two taniwha, Ngake and Whataitai, whose adventures created the unique rugged shore and landscape of Wellington. The strong dramatic form also alludes to the Miramar Peninsula’s emerging creative community and film industry.
The Airport’s south coast location is represented by the inside aesthetics and outside shell of the building. Glass fissures within the roof let in a warm, natural light by day, whilst backlighting at night creates a glow seen from the air.
It is fantastic to look back over the five year development and see its achievement. Not only has it doubled international passenger capacity and vastly improved passenger facilitation and experience, but it has created an award-winning and unforgettable talking point for visitors and Wellingtonians alike.
Looking to the future, by 2030 Wellington Airport’s passenger numbers will double to 10 million. With The Rock being developed in preparation for the Rugby World Cup 2011, it has already successfully managed the Airport’s busiest day ever hosting three times the number of daily international passengers.
The Rock has doubled Wellington’s international processing capacity to 1000 passengers per hour while providing a dual international and domestic departure lounge with seating for 660 passengers.
Planning efficiencies and future flexibility were accommodated in the design including:
Along with creating a memorable visitor experience with optimum functionality, a key specification was efficiency in planning. The construction is creative in how it uses standardised and economical building components coupled with planning for recycling, refurbishing and salvaging.
Strong environmental design features include: