The 2011 Canterbury earthquake devastated 70% of the Christchurch Club’s buildings and set the stage for a daring and ambitious challenge to restore, redesign and rebuild the Club to take it into the next 160 years.
After the destructive force of the 2011 Canterbury earthquake, the future of this iconic Historic Places listed Category 1 building was at a crossroads with a substantial part (70% of floor area) levelled to the ground. As many Christchurch heritage buildings facing imminent demolition, The Christchurch Club made a brave and determined decision to preserve the Club’s history and values through restoring and rebuilding the Clubhouse.
The four-year journey started with assembling a best in class team experienced in complex heritage projects; The Building Intelligence Group as project managers, Armitage Williams, Warren and Mahoney, Beca, Rawlinsons, Planz Consultants, the Christchurch City Council and a dedicated committee from The Christchurch Club.
Conservation of the building’s heritage elements was seen as vital, but within the requirements of a brief that reflected a desire to restore an architecturally significant structure and integrating it with a new functional building.
The Club now offers new business suites, a tennis court, a petanque court and improved gym facilities. The restored “Buttery” has been repurposed as the new Members’ Bar which has ancillary spaces including a terrace with outdoor fireplace, a card room, a winter garden cocktail annex and six private ensuite bedrooms.
Project Director Tess Browne, describes TBIG’s value add, saying “our role was to be the independent voice – the guardian of the budget and the programme and to ensure specific design aspirations and the Committee’s long term strategic expectations were met.” “Heritage projects are always challenging and all the more rewarding because of it.” TBIG has worked on several iconic buildings including the major restoration of the Old High Court in Wellington, the Blenheim District Courthouse, and the Deans Farm Buildings.
The Christchurch Club reopened on July 21st 2016. This project has been recognised with a Christchurch Civic Trust award and a Merit Award in the 2017 NZ Property Council Awards.