Bolton Hotel, Wellington

Client: Warwick Angus
Timeframe: Completed 2005

Components: 20-storey luxury hotel and apartments with 142 guest rooms, Wellington

Project description:

The Bolton is a 20-storey luxury hotel nestled in a quiet street in the heart of Wellington. It has 142 guest rooms plus a fully equipped gym, heated swimming pool, spa pool, sauna and an in-house restaurant, as well as 10 owner-occupied apartments on the top three floors.

Completed in December 2005, the Bolton Hotel has gained several industry awards, including the prestigious Five-Star Qualmark status.

Location: Bolton Street, Wellington

Lead Tenant: Bolton Hotel

Other Information: Five-Star rating by Qualmark

Main challenges

Xigo personnel were appointed project managers and “Engineer to the Contract” for this highly complex project in 2003, just before construction began.

There were some major logistical challenges in constructing a 20-storey building on a tiny site of just 600 square metres – hemmed in by existing buildings on two sides and roads on the other two. In fact, the site was so small there was not even room for the contractor’s shed.

Being in such a confined inner city space, with vehicles and pedestrians moving around it, detailed traffic management and health-and-safety plans were required, which we had to oversee to ensure they were adhered to. We also had to ensure strict Wellington City Council consent conditions were complied with during the project.

The guest rooms were designed by an Auckland interior design firm and the furniture was manufactured overseas. Our challenge was to ensure everything was coordinated so the rooms were fitted out to the required specifications

Our approach

The hotel developer, Warwick Angus, had, prior to our engagement, entered into a Lump Sum Fixed Price Design Build contract with Multiplex, based primarily on 60% developed design documentation and a detailed specification. This meant the design of the base building, ground floor lobby, common areas, guest rooms and other design aspects were carried out progressively while the building was being constructed.

As Project Manager, we worked alongside Warwick in reviewing the detailed design as it was completed by Multiplex’s design team and raised the flag where any aspects either were not as originally intended or where further detail was necessary. We had to oversee the details and ensure the contractor implemented everything as required under his contract.

Our role included chairing weekly meetings with the contractor on-site to ensure construction was in accordance with the agreed design details and progress was being maintained to the agreed programme. In addition we chaired monthly Project Control Group meetings with the wider team, including regular financial reporting to the funding banks.

We also had a quantity surveying role, tracking variations and verifying progress claims throughout the contract – coordinating the soft fit-out, carrying out room-by-room inspections, signing-off completed works and overseeing commissioning and occupation.

Particularly interesting aspects of this building include the car hoist to deliver cars into the basement car park, the guest car stacker able to hold 20 cars vertically within the building, the variety of different hotel room layouts and the building’s modulated façade with cantilevered canopies.

Today, the Bolton is a landmark hotel in Wellington’s city centre, which is consistently rated one of the capital’s top hotels by independent travel guides. It is an accomplishment of which the Xigo team is justifiably proud.