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"No Visit to the Prime Minister in the Beehive" Top 5 Page for this destination Parliament Buildings & Beehive Tip by Kakapo2

  The Beehive and Sir Richard Seddon.
by Kakapo2

Some people call it a shocker, some a source of national pride. But one thing is clear: Beside the Cable Car, the Beehive is Wellington’s landmark. It is said that the Scottish architect Basil Spence designed it on the back of a dinner napkin in 1964 while dining with Sir Keith Holyoake, then Prime Minister and later Governor-General. Building started in 1969, and was completed in 1981. On Wikipedia you find the sketch.

Whereas Parliament House can be visited on free tours you do not have access to the Beehive which is really a striking and unique structure.

It has a circular base, like a rotunda, and is shaped like a cone, chopped at the top. It is said that the architect had the idea of a real beehive in mind when he made the sketch.
The building is 72 metres and ten storeys high, plus has four storeys below ground. The roof is constructed from 20 tonnes of hand-welded copper. The interior design was a nightmare, as there are many asymmetrical rooms, and office furniture is not really built with such special features in mind.

The top floor houses the cabinet offices. The Prime Minister’s offices occupy the ninth and part of the eigth floor, and further down are the offices of the cabinet ministers. On the first floor is a banquet hall. In the basement are the country’s main civil defence headquarters (National Crisis Management Centre). A tunnel links the Beehive with Bowen House on the opposite side of Bowen Street. This building houses parliamentary offices.

Directions: Corner Bowen Street/Molesworth Street

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Apr 16, 2008
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