Friday, July 11, 2008

#406 ... Woolly Apartments

The old Wool Stores on Jervois Quay just over the road from the Railway Station

Shed 21 (1910)
this two-storey brick building, with a mezzanine fl oor, located on Waterloo Quay wharf, opposite the Waterloo Hotel (now a backpackers’ hostel). The tallest of the Wellington Harbour Board’s (WHB) industrial warehouses, Shed 21 was built in 1910 to store wool and was designed by the WHB Chief Engineer, James Marchbanks. It replaced the timber J Shed, built in 1880, which had burnt down earlier that year. The apse-like extension at the northern end of the building housed an ‘accumulator’, part of an hydraulic mechanism. Accumulated water pressure was used to drive lifts that moved goods between fl oors. Hydraulic power was once the main source of power on the waterfront and was still used for wool presses, cranes and other equipment until finally superseded by electricity in the 1950s. The charm of Shed 21 lies in the fi ne use of brickwork to embellish an otherwise plain and functional building facade. Note in particular the circular headed windows.

The skylighting and tall ceilings of Shed 21 and other sheds have made them ideal for use for, among other things, exhibitions and concerts. As early as 1911 an Industrial Exhibition was held in hed 21. In the late 1990s, while the future of the building was uncertain, it was partly used for conservation work on the remains of the Inconstant (see 12-Plimmer’s Ark) and as a car park. The building was converted into apartments in 2002 and is now known as Waterloo on Quay Apartments.

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