Central city  |  01 May 2019

Design work to reinstate Christ Church Cathedral is under way following the appointment of key consultants to the project team.

Holmes Consulting Limited Partnership will provide structural engineering expertise, while architectural consultancy services will be supplied by Warren and Mahoney Architects.

The earthquake damaged Christ Church Cathedral.

The earthquake-damaged Christ Church Cathedral.

Christ Church Cathedral Reinstatement Limited (CCRL) Project Director Keith Paterson says having these key consultants on-board, and working collaboratively, means design can progress on crucial elements such as the functional layout of the Cathedral, stabilisation and permanent reinstatement solutions.

“This is a significant milestone for the project and moves us towards the kind of physical work people have been looking forward to,” Mr Paterson says.

“This project is unique, as we are not only repairing and strengthening the Cathedral structure, we’re installing base isolation to meet the required standard of seismic performance.

“It’s the uniqueness of the project that has attracted a highly experienced and committed group of professionals who relish the challenge and understand the significance of the project.

"Both Holmes Consulting and Warren and Mahoney bring proven experience and insight from complex heritage projects, like the Christchurch Arts Centre,” Mr Paterson says.

“Working with them are a number of experts with equally impressive skills and experience. They include well-respected local engineer Grant Wilkinson from Ruamoko Solutions. Jeremy Salmond (Salmond Reed Architects) is the Project Lead Heritage Architect and has worked on some of New Zealand’s most significant heritage places. Norwegian firm SnØhetta, designer of the award-winning Norwegian National Opera and Ballet, will contribute international expertise to the project.

“A lot of careful thought has gone into collating this team of experts and it’s great to be able to tap into all that brain-power and expertise to start the reinstatement of the Cathedral,” Mr Paterson says.

Peter Guthrey, Chairperson of the Christ Church Cathedral Reinstatement Trust, says the calibre of the team underscores the importance of this project for the city’s regeneration.

“Reinstating the Cathedral delivers a critical missing piece of Christchurch’s central city, and the project is full steam ahead,” Mr Guthrey says.

Bishop Peter Carrell says the Diocese has worked with most of the experts previously and they understood what the Cathedral means to Christchurch and to the Anglican Church.

"Its reinstatement is vital to the rejuvenation of central Christchurch. With these announcements we are closer to the day when we reopen the Cathedral to welcome people of all faiths or none,” Bishop Carrell says.

Mr Paterson says the close working relationship between the project team, the church and key stakeholders will ultimately enhance the comfort, safety and functionality of the Cathedral for worship and civic, community and hospitality events.

CCRL Chairperson Justin Murray says it is hoped the design work on stabilisation will be completed by the end of this year.

“That will pave the way for early stabilisation work to begin on-site in the first quarter of 2020. Stabilisation of the Cathedral may take 12 to 18 months and will overlap with ongoing reinstatement design work,” Mr Murray says.

“It’s vital at the end of this project that the Cathedral is a place that has value to the community and is a welcoming place for all. There may not be much to see physically, other than ongoing site maintenance, during this next phase, but there’s plenty of work going on behind the scenes. The next months of planning lay the foundations for everything that comes next.”