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Frame Apartments, Wellington

Frame Apartments, Wellington

Dynamic design, quality and development expertise are the framework for one of Wellington’s tallest residential buildings, the Frame Apartments. With apartment developers Vicinity at the helm, along with Archaus Ltd, the 54-unit complex in the historic suburb of Thorndon reframes city-living in the capital.

The development stands at 18 floors, making it a landmark with sea views out to the harbour and the Northern walkway of the city. The bold and colourful mosaic-tile design of the façade is a standout feature, with the buildings lower portion adding diversity and contrast being uniform in hue. The ground floors are designed as retail units facing out to popular Molesworth Street.

The use of an in-situ concrete structure, with infill framing to the upper stories, was chosen to give the building added rigidity to tackle Wellington’s renowned robust winds head on. Warm construction was achieved with the specification of an exterior insulation system, positioning the insulation on the outside face of the concrete walls. This purposefully exposes a concrete-wall aesthetic to the interiors, as well as creating additional apartment space. The StoPoren Panel Façade System was specified on the framed areas. 

Installed by Sto Contractor, Solid Technology Systems (STS), the StoTherm Masonry Insulation System provides insulation and superior weather resistance to the concrete walls. The insulation layer consists of StoTherm EPS Panels, which are glue coated then fixed with StoTherm Countersunk Anchors. The anchors are fitted with insulation caps to prevent thermal bridging through the fixing. 

Glue coated and fixed 60mm StoTherm EPS Panels with StoTherm Mineral Wool fire breaks.

The StoPoren Panel System incorporates non-combustible aerated concrete panels installed over a drained cavity. The StoPoren and StoTherm systems are supported by verification testing to AS/NZS 4284 and are backed by the industry leading StoArmat 20 year Warranty with StoService Assurance.

An increasing focus on the fire management of facades led to StoTherm Mineral Wool fire-breaks, 200 mm high, being installed within the insulation layer every second storey. Where designers want to remove foamed plastics completely, the EPS can be replaced by StoTherm Mineral Wool Panels. 

The StoTherm system utilises the concrete’s thermal mass to provide a healthy interior environment, with heating and cooling needs reduced. Wrapping the building in a thermally efficient envelope cuts-down energy loss, reducing energy bills and CO2 emissions, while avoiding interstitial moisture within the building’s structure.

Frame Apartment Elevations

The façade systems are finished with the StoArmat synthetic render system, incorporating a mineral basecoat render, StoArmat reinforcement render, Stolit K 1.5 mm finishing render and StoColor Maxicryl façade paint, achieving the colourful patchwork pattern on the northern elevation and uniform areas. The system provides longevity, security and weather resistance. The StoTherm and StoPoren systems meet the NZBC fire spread requirements for exterior surface finishes. 

The result is a sustainable, reliable and future-proofed façade; one that is built to combat urban mechanical and environmental stresses. 


Project: Frame Apartments

Developer: Vicinity

Architect: Archaus Ltd

Sto Contractor: Solid Technology Systems Ltd


Concrete NZ 2018 Sustainability Awards - Excellence in Residential Concrete Construction Award 2018


StoTherm Masonry Insulation Brochure

StoPoren Panel Facade System Brochure