Hall of Memories, Christchurch Earthquakes

After the Christchurch earthquakes, the need to seismically upgrade the Category 1 Heritage listed Hall of Memories became a priority.

At the base of the National War Memorial Carillion tower is the Hall of Memories. This iconic building serves as the commemorative chapel of the National War Memorial. The Ministry for Culture and Heritage were advised the assessed seismic rating of the Hall of Memories did not meet the 34% building code minimum.

The building was closed to the public. A collaborative project team was appointed to tackle the seismic challenges, with The Building Intelligence Group as Project Managers, working with Fletcher Construction and Studio Pacific Architecture.

MCH set a very clear objective, the work should be imperceptible and it needed to be ready for the Anzac Day Centenary Celebrations in 2015.

The Building Intelligence Group Christchurch’s role involved representing MCH and steering the methodology, procurement, programming and stakeholder management to carry out the extensive seismic strengthening and rehabilitation works in the timeframe.

A significant part of the seismic upgrade work consisted of supporting the building by tying buttresses to beams under the steps on either side of the building. On the north side, the building’s interior has been tied to the reinforced Carillon wall with 300 steel rods, with repairs filled with ground up Mt Somers stone so they are barely evident.

Two columns flanking the sculpture areas have been sensitive braced to the wall.

If you held up a photograph of the Hall of Memories and Carillon before and after their restoration you likely wouldn’t be able to tell much difference – which was the objective