Council approves cost of repairs to Curator’s House

Press Release – Christchurch City Council

The Council has approved a project to move forwards with the repair of the historic Curators House on Rolleston Avenue and the costs towards strengthening the building to 67 percent of the New Building Standard (NBS).Thursday 16 February 2012
Council approves cost of repairs to Curator’s House
The Council has approved a project to move forwards with the repair of the historic Curators House on Rolleston Avenue and the costs towards strengthening the building to 67 percent of the New Building Standard (NBS).

A building is considered to be earthquake prone at 33 percent of NBS.

Insurance will fund $544,491 of the cost of repair and Council will pay $205,267 towards strengthening.

Christchurch City Council Deputy Mayor Ngaire Button says that the Curator’s House serves as a reminder and evidence of our past history.

“It’s an iconic central city venue which draws people to this part of the city and to the Botanic Gardens. It’s really important to get venue like this reopen, especially for those people looking for a special event venue. The decision is a step in the right direction towards the revitalisation and rebuild of our Central City and it will serve as a boost to the hospitality and tourism industries.”

The repairs are being done under the Council’s Facilities Rebuild Project.

The building suffered minor damage as a result of the 22 February earthquake 2011 and additional damage from the 13 June 2011 earthquake event. While there is some damage to the timber floor, plaster cracking to walls and ceilings in isolated locations, and a cracked timber pile, as a whole the building performed very well. It is designed and well constructed to modern techniques. The building has no structural vulnerabilities and does not require earthquake strengthening.

The Curators House is listed in the City Plan as a Group 3 heritage building. Its heritage significance is also recognised by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust Pouhere Taonga which registers the building as a Category II Historic Place.

The Curators Residence is constructed in two parts, an original two story Arts and Crafts/Tudor style building and a modern single storey addition constructed in 1999. The building was being used as a Restaurant, but is currently unoccupied due to earthquake damage.

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To find out more about the New Building Standards go to FAQs at http://www.ccc.govt.nz/thecouncil/councilfacilities/faqs-councilfaciliti esrebuildplan.aspx

Heritage summary

From 1872 until 1983 the curator of the Botanic Gardens lived on site. The Curators House was built in 1920 replacing an earlier cottage used for the curator. Designed by Collins and Harman the building is a combination of the Arts and Crafts tradition known as Old English or Tudor style. The ground floor wall construction of basalt rubble establishes an interesting relationship with the Museum. The building uses common constructions methods of its time; however the exception is that the ground floor external walls are load bearing masonry backed by single brick carried up at the same time as the masonry was built. This form of construction was not common in Christchurch.

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