Specialist Roofing & Cladding

Division of Aquaheat New Zealand Ltd

Wellington International Airport Terminal - The Rocks

Main Contractor- Mainzeal Property & Construction Ltd

Consultants - Studio Pacific and Warren & Mahoney Architects

Completion - October 2010

Product Details - Aquaheat Classic Metal – Double Standing Seam and Angle Seam Profiles, 0.6mm KME TECU Copper Roofing and Flashings.

Nearly 17 tonne of copper was imported from Germany to cover 16002m of the buildings with individual panels.



The RockThe concept for the new Wellington Airport passenger terminal was taken from the form of the rugged surrounding coastline.

From this concept two Rocks emerged that became the external form. This multi-faceted building has been described as “a pyramid of steel beams that meet at nodal points in mid-air, forming angles and planes that say ‘sculpture rather than building’”.

The Classic Metal team were very excited to take on this challenging façade.  Swiss trained, Eric Stocker, our leading metal craftsman, worked very closely with Studio Pacific, Warren & Mahoney and Mainzeal through the design and structural issues to come up with the best roofing and cladding solution.  In the end they decided that the combination of Double Standing and Angle Seam Profiles would work best with the various roof and façade pitches. Roof planes with a pitch of up to 15 degrees required Double Standing Seam Profile while all other facets of the building with a pitch greater than 15 degrees required Angle Seam Profile.


Points of Interest

Measuring copperOne of the constant challenges with this particular job was the weather. The majority of the project was installed during the winter of 2010 and Wellington Airport’s location gets battered by some of the harshest weather in the country. However rain, wind or shine, the Aquaheat Classic Metal team of 14 roofing and cladding specialists persisted and worked through to meet the tight schedule. 

Nine months later and 3000 copper panels had been made for the building’s exterior and 600 panels for the terminal’s interior.  The complexity of the project, where there was not a single straight or square panel on the entire job, was the greatest challenge. Accurate marking and measuring was vital to the project.  Every panel was tapered and had to be individually measured and manufactured.

Inside the RockFor the duration of the contract there was a constant flow of Aquaheat vehicles with collected measurements from the airport site to Aquaheat’s Tawa Workshop and a return journey with precisely folded copper panels for each section.

The project may have initially been coined “the Pumpkins” and the design attracted some heated discussion. However we believe the finished building is something quite magnificent. 

This building is certainly a talking point and one of the more unusual terminal buildings in the world.  Aquaheat employees are proud to have been involved in this project.  It was a challenging but successful job for the Classic Metal team.




The Rock, Wellington Airport


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