Case Study

Wellington International Airport

  • Location
  • Client
  • Architect
    Warren and Mahoney®
  • Structural Engineer
  • Main Contractor
    Hawkins Group
  • Date
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Adding the X-factor

Our challenge
Techlam got involved at the tender stage, collaborating with Wellington International Airport, head contractor Hawkins Construction and architects Warren and Mahoney to devise the best way to create the complex X columns and the ceiling beams.

The Techlam solution
Running along the length of the extension, the X columns not only provide a stunning aesthetic, they are also a key structural element.

We built and fully assembled the curved glulam columns at our manufacturing plant. This controlled environment ensured that each joint was exact, allowing us to transport them to site fully finished for assembly.

Products Used

Curved Beams

A kiss connection was used to join the beams, creating eye-catching curves.


Ceiling Beams

A visual appearance grade product, used as an acoustic barrier and to create a warm and relaxed feel.

Steve Kemp

Senior Structural Engineer

BECA Wellington Office

“X columns were manufactured to tight tolerances – the care and attention to detail and consideration of reduced tolerances proved invaluable during the installation and meant the main contractor kept to the tight programme.”

“During a visit to the workshop facilities to Techlam I managed to speak with several of the guys manufacturing the X-frames and was particularly impressed by the passion and genuine interest and pleasure they have in their work. This shines through in the production of a quality end product. One particular guy was posting pictures on his personal Facebook page on the work he was doing to create the X-frames.

Having the X-frames arrive to site as one complete X-frame rather than two pieces meant a much quicker installation time and could reduce the tolerances further. The collaboration between the steelwork subbie and Techlam was really good in this project. It meant that they could experiment with samples and prototypes in each other’s facilities to get the details right. By pre-assembling the X-frames and paying attention to the ‘kiss’ detail the finished product was really impressive. This type of collaboration was one of the best I have experienced and made for a much smoother dialogue and team approach to this aspect of the project.

Having the steel detailer draw up and produce the shop drawings for both the steel and the timber was a really good initiative. I am sure it saved time on unnecessary coordination / questions as the detailer already had an excellent awareness of the project and the steelwork requirement before he was commissioned to undertake the timber shop drawings. With such an integrated timber / steel structure this really paid dividends and I am sure cut down the shop drawing time.

Overall, we are pleased with end product and despite a couple of issues part way through the project, the results are excellent and something that the whole Techlam team can be proud of.”

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