Historic Department Store Opens in Wellington


David Jones Pty Ltd


Wellington, New Zealand



Year Completed


Project Value

NZ $50M

Construction Company

LT McGuinness


2016 Property Council New Zealand Wellington Property People Awards – Best Team for Wellington Project Winner

2016 Property Council New Zealand Wellington Property People Awards – Urban Design and Architectural Merit Winner

2017 New Zealand Commercial Project Awards Retail Category Silver Award Winner

Holmes Team

Derek Robertson

David Jones is a high end fashion retailer and department store headquartered in Australia with a heritage dating back to 1838. This makes it the oldest continuously operating department store in the world still trading under its original name.

For their first store outside of Australia David Jones chose Wellington and Holmes Fire as their Fire Engineer. This site was an historic Wellington-based department store that had recently closed its doors. Within the constraints of this existing heritage building the programme from design to trading commencing was less than 12 months.

In that time Holmes Fire overcame challenges of:

  • Smoke control between multiple linked (by escalator) floors
  • High numbers of retail occupants but only fixed number of existing escape routes
  • Heightened security requirements integrating with the need for free evacuation in the event of fire
  • Obtaining agreement from the Building Consent Authority and their third party Peer Reviewer within the 3 month design period
  • Providing onsite continuous construction monitoring during the 8 month construction period

Upon completion, David Jones not only stands as a landmark retailer but also an exemplar of what can be achieved when a team throws everything behind a project to achieve the most ambitious of projects.

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