The Vault is a hidden gem in Wellington’s CBD filled with beautiful curated gifts, ceramics, glass, art and jewellery. Hand- crafted creations made / designed in New Zealand by local artists, designers and creatives, mixed with some international brands has been The Vault’s speciality for over 30 years now. We love to represent the amazing artist’s we have here in Aotearoa and enjoy helping our customers find that perfect gift, item for their home or piece of jewellery.
The Vault is an iconic Wellington boutique gift store and should definitely be on your list of places to visit whilst in the Capital city. Visit the store at 2 Plimmer Steps in Wellington's CBD, or browse our website www.thevaultnz.com
We look forward to seeing you.
Hi, I’m Penelope, in 1996 I joined The Vault Team as the assistant manager and I soon discovered what an amazing team and environment The Vault store was to work in.
I’ve always loved art and design so working in this creative space was the perfect job for me. The manager at the time, Annette McLeod took me under her wings and taught me everything I needed to know about the job. I just loved learning about the artist’s we stocked and merchandising became a passion of mine. Time flew by and before I knew it, in 2006 I had the opportunity to become the manager of the Wellington store, then in August 2019 I became the proud owner.
I am so happy to be able to continue what the original owners Sarah and Philip Solaris created, and to be able to add my own flair. This iconic Wellington store has so much history and style. When customers start reminiscing about the different locations, hearing their wonderful memories about their shopping experiences, and what they’ve purchased from us in the past and how they still love to shop at The Vault , it really does mean a lot to me. I'm so proud to be able to continue the legacy.
The Vault has stocked a selection of different products over the years and has had amazing staff through these times. I have very fond memories and look forward to many more memories to come.
The Vault 2 Plimmer Steps, Wellington CBD, Tel +64 (0)4 471 1404
THE VAULT, 2 PLIMMER STEPS, WELLINGTON CBD
HERE’S A BIT OF HISTORY ABOUT THE VAULT
AUCKLAND VAULT 1991 - The first Vault store was established in Auckland’s CBD. This subterranean space was located on the corner of High Street and Vulcan Lane in what was the derelict basement vault of the first ANZ bank in New Zealand. The Vault was the first store in the world to exhibit New Zealand works alongside international design products.
WELLINGTON VAULT 1992 - The second store was created in 1992 in an amazing space above the corner of Willis Street and Lambton Quay (now known as Stewart Dawson’s Corner). This building was remarkable for several reasons. It was the first in New Zealand to have an internal light well and was designed by a New Zealand architect (reasonably rare in itself in the colonial days) and hence a historical pilgrimage for many New Zealand architects. The large light well of brilliant white tiles was opened up to provide a central space for The Vault’s most exciting exhibitions of local sculpture and design work. Around one side of this space was the new Vault cafe, which became extremely popular with Wellingtonians. What most people would not have seen was the incredible structure of this historic building. On the top story of the three level building was an extraordinary ceiling. Made of huge planks from native Rimu, these massive planks formed a high pitched "vaulted” ceiling. Tragically this building was sold and its interior stripped and "modernised”. The Vault had to relocate.
CHRISTCHURCH VAULT 1993 - The Christchurch store was established in a derelict first floor space above the historic Cashel Mall in central Christchurch, with a cafe created in the front. This new Christchurch Vault was the ultimate flagship store for The Vault "style” of interior and display systems. The distinctive organic shapes of the free standing cabinetry and shelving, inter-cut with the angular severity of vertical cabinets was pioneered here.
WELLINGTON VAULT (New Store) 1996 - The original location of The Vault Wellington store was left with a heavy heart and a wealth of wonderful memories. After months of searching for a space of comparable character we miraculously discovered another historic building just 100 meters up Willis Street that met our every need. The McKenzie building’s entrance foyer was in the grand style of buildings of its day. It was still in reasonable condition with the original black and white floor tiles and lead-light windows. However the first floor where we planned to locate the store was a rabbit warren of small dark rooms. 50 Willis Street was the most ambitious renovation project to date. Many concrete walls were removed and the interior was transformed into a large open space. With the amazing ongoing loyalty and support of Wellingtonian's this store became a Wellington icon.
WELLINGTON VAULT On the move again 2008 - After twelve amazing years at 50 Willis Street, due to redevelopment The Vault had to relocate again. Luckily another amazing building was discovered close by on Plimmer Steps and in 2008 we re-opened our beautiful Wellington store upstairs on the corner of Plimmer Steps and Lambton Quay and this is where we still are today. Our address is 2 Plimmer Steps, Wellington Central. We would love to see you and help with your gift buying.
The Christchurch Earthquake 2011 - Thankfully the old brick building where The Vault in Christchurch was, held up during the February 2011 earthquake. The staff and customers all got out physically unscathed thanks to the foresight of earthquake strengthening when The Vault first occupied the building. However it didn’t pass the engineers reports and the landlord decided to demolish the building in July 2011. After much deliberation original owners Sarah and Philip decided not to re-open in Christchurch. We have beautiful memories of the Christchurch store and miss the staff very much xx.
Auckland Vault - Sadly due to hard economic times and during the COVID-19 pandemic we had to say goodbye to The Vault and staff in Auckland. We miss you xx.