Built by the wives and mothers of local World War Two servicemen, Belmont Hall has been an asset to the Lower Hutt community for over 60 years. Despite its frequent use by the neighbouring Belmont School and local groups for meetings and events, the building had become dated over the years. Seismic strengthening work was needed to ensure the hall remained safe and fit for purpose, and renovations to bring the space into the modern era were well overdue.
To modernise the structure and preserve the hall for future generations, Gaze was engaged as the main contractor and consultant by the Hutt City Council to complete the seismic strengthening, refurbishment and upgrade of the historic hall.
Key to this project was to make the space more functional and safer for the 21st Century, without abandoning the building’s character. Gaze’s solution considered the special place the hall held in the community, while still delivering on the design requirements laid out by the Council.
Working with consultants Envelope Engineering to review the structure, Gaze completed a full seismic strengthening of the building, bringing the mid-century construction up to modern earthquake standards and code. With Wellington’s level of seismic activity, this work ensures the building is resilient and stable enough to withstand any future earthquakes, providing peace of mind to the public.
Gaze extended the hall to incorporate a brand-new kitchen and storage area, which better serves the hall’s role as a versatile venue for the community to use. A full refurbishment of the interior and exterior was undertaken, to make the best use of the building and its immediate environment. This included the installation of new double-glazed windows which fill the space with natural light, and the addition of double doors which open out onto a new external deck on the Western façade. An improved main entrance way was designed to offer better and easier access and new cladding was applied to the exterior of the building.
With its refreshed look, improved facilities and seismic strengthening, Belmont Memorial Hall is robust enough to continue its place as an asset for the community for the next 60 years – while honouring the original purpose and legacy of the building itself.