2016 Lecture Evening

The 2016 Canterbury Heritage Awards Lecture Evening was held in the newly restored Great Hall at the Arts Centre of Christchurch. This was an important and very happy occasion as it marked the first public event to be held in the Hall since the 2010/2011 earthquakes. The lecture was proudly sponsored by the Warren Trust and feature two wonderful speakers.

Peter Lovell

Director, Lovell Chen, Melbourne

Urban heritage in the 21st century: a changing past, an uncertain future

 Over the past 30 years our perceptions and appreciation of heritage have changed.  The change is not unique to any one place and reflects an evolving world view.  Heritage has long ago moved beyond monuments and architecture and now embraces all aspects of tangible and intangible culture. Recognition of the breadth and complexity of heritage in the 21st century readily can been seen in the increasing number of charters and guiding principles which inform the heritage debate.  An aspect of that debate is that judgments regarding cultural significance are often made with less ease.  This is coupled with an increasing acceptance that the heritage of a place is an evolving rather than a static proposition.

Using Melbourne as an example, it is apparent that over this time there has also been a change in our perception of what makes up the cultural heritage of a city and in views on how it should be managed.  The heritage of Melbourne is no longer limited to buildings constructed in the distant past and embraces, or is attempting to embrace, a far more recent and complex past.  At the same time, our attitude towards and scope for intervention is also changing and guidelines and policies developed 30 years ago are increasingly less relevant.  The focus of this paper is to explore these issues and to contemplate the challenges in managing our built heritage in the years ahead.

Alec Bruce

Director, Wilkie and Bruce, Christchurch

Christ’s College plays a large part in the history of Christchurch and as a campus is a truly unique grouping of buildings with some truly iconic gems from the late 19th century and early 20th century designed in Arts and Crafts influenced neo-gothic and collegiate-gothic styles. There are 14 listed heritage buildings on the campus with a total of 11 in Groups 1 and 2.

The Christchurch earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 caused significant damage to the stone buildings at Christ’s College. Although seismic strengthening of buildings completed over recent decades prevented collapses, the earthquakes initiated an urgent programme of assessment, repair, strengthening and replacement. Strategies were necessary to manage many concurrent projects.

This lecture presents an overview of the earthquake recovery from the architect’s perspective, explaining the stories behind the main buildings on the campus, how they were damaged, and how they were repaired. It will also cover the design of the recently completed Miles Warren Building, the largest single building project undertaken by the College, and the challenges this project presented as it was being built in the heart of a functioning secondary school for boys.

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