Landmark & Views

Beehive

New Zealand / The Pacific

The Beehive is the executive wing of Parliament House. During the 1960’s the acute office accommodation shortages for MP’s in parliament led to an urge to complete the building. Parliament originally moved from Auckland to Wellington in 1865, and was housed in a number of wooden buildings. The grounds were landscaped in the 1890s but most of the parliamentary buildings were destroyed by fire in 1907. New premises were built but not completed when Parliament moved back in in 1918. These older buildings ere renovated and strengthened from 1991 to 1996 when Parliament again moved back in. The Queen opened Parliament here in her Coronation dress on 12 January 1954.After much debate the beehive design of Sir Basil Spence was chosen and completed in 1981. The Beehive was built in stages between 1969 and 1979.Being circular the building is quite unusual, featuring a curved ballroom, custom built curved furniture and a particularly disorienting lift core. The elegant, though somewhat impractical building has not been immune to modern considerations, now featuring an extension out the front to allow for a new security entrance and a new, bomb-proof mail delivery room built at the rear of the building.The top floor is occupied by the Cabinet Room with the Prime Minister’s office on the ninth floor. The building also features a subterranean crisis management centre.

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