Museum Art Hotel
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|Museum Art Hotel|
|Former names||Museum Hotel de Wheels|
|Address||90 Cable Street, Wellington 6011|
Relocation of the building
Weighing an estimated 3500 tonnes, this reinforced concrete building was moved from its original site, now the location of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa to a site some 180 metres down and across a major road.
The relocation started in May 1993 and was completed just over five months later. In a remarkable feat of engineering, the building was turned into a railway carriage, and wheeled on 8 sets of parallel rails 100 metres alongside a busy road. The wheels were then turned 90 degrees, and the building pushed across the road on another set of rails to a point where it was joined to new foundations, and recommenced operation as a hotel.
During this process, the only items removed from the hotel were the bed linens. Everything else remained in situ, even the bottles in the bar. Nothing was damaged in the move and there were no signs of any stress (cracks in plaster, doors jamming, etc.) whatsoever.
Motive power for the move was a series of hydraulic rams. Collectively these were capable of providing a push of 160 tonnes. In the event only 8 tonnes of push were required to get the building rolling. Each of the two moves was accomplished in one day, at a maximum speed of 12 metres per hour. Between the first move and the second, a period of two weeks was required to turn the 96 railway bogies used through 90 degrees. Each bogie had 4 wheels, so the point loading through each wheel was less than 10 tonnes.
At the time of moving the building was only 15 years old. Although comparatively new, the hotel was to have been demolished to make way for the much larger structure of the National Museum. Chris Parkin, the entrepreneur who undertook the project, was later awarded the title of 'Wellingtonian of the Year'.
- "Owner & Staff - Museum Hotel". Retrieved 1 May 2014.
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