Auckland Town Hall

Centre of attention

As an architectural showpiece of Queen Street the Auckland Town Hall is highly valued to the city, it’s council and the many and varied communities that use and benefit from it each day. It is also well protected, deservedly categorised as a 'Category A' heritage place in the city's district plan.

Any cleaning and maintenance work on such a building therefore needed to provide careful exactitude and minimal disruption. The initial brief for the Town Hall was to bring up the detail of the exterior with an effective clean without compromising the façade or jeopardising public safety.

The exterior of the Town Hall was constructed with two types of stone, the ground floor being made with dark volcanic basalt and the upper part with Oamaru limestone. Due to the requirements of the latter material, the building required a light rinse wash.

The logistical challenges required both a realistic approach in planning and a high degree of flexibility in executing the plan.

Auckland Town Hall Maintenance UpgradeYouTube play

In 2007 restoration work was required to both replace ornamental details (removed in the 1950s because of earthquake risk), and to repair the Oamaru stone previously damage due to overly aggressive cleaning. The building (and it’s champions) would not stand for more damage from inept cleaning.

We secured the building wash and exterior repaint with an attention to detail in the scoping – our extensive traffic management plan, detailed safety processes and, of course, quality workmanship.

The National Decorators team had a four to six week window to get the work done. The logistical challenges required both a realistic approach in planning and a high degree of flexibility with executing the plan.

Timeframes were tricky to work around as traffic management restricted work on the Queen Street side of the hall. Foot traffic made ease of movement difficult here. However the well-planned safety barriers and cordoned off areas eliminated risk to public and ensured our team could keep working.

Project leader Israel Inacio worked with David Queiroz on site, with account manager Richard Waite overseeing the job. The team worked closely with Regional Facilities Auckland. Their Facility Manager, Iain Fleming, had to be one hundred percent satisfied with the work.

“We needed to work in with many stakeholders,” said Israel. “From Museum directors to facilities managers to other key staff to the general public, everyone needed to be properly communicated with.”

Addressing these needs was crucial to the project’s success. Ben Waite, our Operations Manager, was happy to report that the two-man project team worked with a ‘minimal fuss, maximum effort approach’.

“We worked varied hours and took time off during the day to fit in with the various needs of the building inhabitants,” said Ben. “Further still, approximately 20% of the work was undertaken at night to prevent any disruption.”


1911 first opened

£126,000 original cost of construction

1994 extensive renovation

$33,000,000 renovation cost

4300m² footprint

4-6 week timeframe

20% of work undertaken at night