Deans Farm buildings

The historic Deans Farm Buildings at Christchurch Boys’ High School has been repurposed for the future, after undergoing seismic strengthening and heritage restoration.

The former Deans Farm buildings at CBHS are of exceptional significance to the School and the Christchurch region. Built in circa 1856, the buildings were in a dilapidated condition with the Canterbury earthquakes worsening their condition.

The CBHS Board saw a future worth saving and engaged The Building Intelligence Group to lead a specialist project team to bring the buildings to 67% NBS and to repurpose them into a fitting home for the Old Boys’ Museum and School Uniform Shop.

The wider team included Fulton Ross Team Architects, CLK Heritage, Watt & Hughes Construction and Underground Overground. The Building Intelligence’s scope of service included team selection and appointment, design management, procurement, programme, cost control, and Engineer to the Contract Services.

The unknowns in heritage buildings of this age always present challenges. A Heritage Impact Assessment and Temporary Protection Plan were completed in parallel with the design to seismically strengthening the building in a programmed sequence of works involving removing existing slabs to allow for underpinning and strengthening to commence.

We discovered original floor cobbles and the decision was made to retain a 2sqm section and overlay with glass so they are visible for all to see.

It was important to create connectivity within the two Deans Farm Building structures themselves, as a focal point for the new facilities. Building One has been being repurposed as an Old Boys’ Museum with heritage items and storage areas.

The adjoining Building has been repurposed as a uniform store and Parent Teacher Association facility. The addition of frameless glass doors and windows provides a welcoming connection with the courtyard area.

Built Heritage Specialist Carole-Anne Kerrigan comments “TBIG’s attention to detail during the structural strengthening and conservation of the heritage listed former Deans Farm Buildings ensured that the heritage values of the place were not overlooked while meeting the project objectives.”