Robinson Construction Ltd’s completion of the Cellar Door Sales and Administration Centre at Wither Hills Winery in Blenheim was the winning entry in the QBE Insurance Retail and Business Commercial Project category in the 2006 RMB Commercial Project Awards, in association with PlaceMakers.
Converting the existing apple packhouse into the main winery building in 1999 was the first step in this large scale project, followed by the barrel hall and finally the stunning office and function centre extension above the hall last year.
Valued in excess of $4.5 million, the completion of the centre in March last year marked the end of a six-year development project.
This was a particularly special occasion for Robinson Construction Ltd, whose team had put large amounts of time and effort into the preparation and development of this unique project.
Entering the RMB Commercial Project Awards ensured Robinson Construction Ltd was able to maximise exposure of the project and celebrate the superb effort made by the construction team.
The competition judges agreed that the design and construction was anchored to the client’s inspiration — a traditional French barrel.
“It was evident in every inch of the building that this project was a labour of love for all concerned.
“The attention to detail in the finishing touches was particularly impressive.”
Plenty of man-hours went into the impressive stonework exterior and laying of the Stevenson tiles, while the eye-catching Oak timber joinery, ceilings and finishing trims are equally impressive.
“A lot of attention was also paid to landscaping and other finishing items, such as metalwork stairs and balustrading.”
Timing and design critical
The judges noted “it was clear that materials had been carefully chosen, and the landscaping anchors this building to the land.”
The project team had to overcome a few challenges throughout construction. Project management of timing and design was a key feature of the contract, as it was critical the different construction stages fitted in with seasonal requirements.
It was also a geographical challenge to work with an Auckland-based architectural firm (Jasmax). However, weekly conference calls and well-documented items ensured all issues were dealt with promptly and efficiently.
This management technique was such a success that Jasmax was required to visit the site only four or five times throughout the six-year project.
Since winning the top award in its category, Robinson Construction Ltd have continued to raise its own benchmark.
“Gaining national recognition from the award has meant an increase in workload and enquiries, but has also really cemented our place in the market.”
The team involved in the project obtained a great sense of pride, and continues to strive for an exceptional standard of quality and workmanship in its current commercial and architecturally-designed residential projects.