A new exhibition hall and expanded ballroom were features of a $5.4 million refurbishment of the Napier War Memorial Centre in 2017. Further earthquake strengthening work took place at the same time.
Planning started: September 2015
Construction commenced: April 2016
Construction completed: March 2017
The newly refurbished Napier Conference Centre provides a state-of-the-art conferencing facility for Hawke’s Bay, attracting the important conference market.
Along with the expansion to the iconic ballroom, the Marine Parade side of the centre has been given greater street presence. The new exhibition hall provides trade exhibitor space next to Ocean Spa, and the war memorial, previously inside the foyer, has been moved to a new position of prominence with views down the lawn to the Soundshell.
As part of the upgrade, the ballroom area was extended to increase capacity for dining, while still retaining a curved form and panoramic views across Hawke Bay. Additional space in the foyer allows for an improved meet and greet area for guests as well as a better flow between key meeting rooms and the new exhibition hall.
Napier based Citrus Studio Architecture, in association with Graham Weaver Architecture, designed the new exhibition hall in a gentle curve to provide a new pedestrian access between the centre and the Ocean Spa complex, to the lower car-park and the beachfront Rotary Pathway.
Elements of the building have been brought closer to the street and the entry plaza is now a vibrant public space that people can enjoy whether stopping or simply walking through. It is framed on the Port side with the black base of the exhibition hall, broken up with blue and green panels inspired by the colours of paua shells, and on the city side by the spine of the War Memorial which is clad in hinuera stone.
The refurbishment work was brought forward after it was discovered the building required earthquake strengthening. These strengthening works, designed by Stratagroup engineers, were carried out at the same time as the refurbishment and expansion.
The work cost approximately $5.4 million.
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