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Great Hall wins Supreme Heritage Award

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The winners of the 2016 Canterbury Heritage Awards were announced during a sold out Awards Ceremony at the newly restored Great Hall of Christchurch’s Arts Centre on Thursday 9 June.

Fittingly, the Great Hall won the Christchurch Heritage Trust Supreme Award with judges praising the commitment, professionalism and outstanding seismic and conservation programme undertaken by the Arts Centre after the earthquakes.

Dr Anna Crighton, Chair of the Awards commented that the Great Hall exhibited all the essential elements of an expert restoration carried out to international best practice.

“The skilled craftsmen, engineers and architects have achieved a quality of excellence. It is a place of many memories from the past and will be enjoyed by present and future generations.”

The Great Hall was designed by Victorian Gothic Revival architect B W Mountfort in 1882 and, like many other buildings in the Arts Centre complex, it was badly damaged in the 2010/2011 earthquakes. Judges also awarded the building with the Ceres NZ Seismic Award, thanks to a forward-thinking seismic retrofit and incredible attention to detail which ensured that modern additions were discreetly installed leaving the historic features to be the hero of the Hall. The Great Hall officially reopens to the public on 18 June.

Awards were also presented to a diverse mix of winners from across Canterbury in six different Categories:

During the Awards Ceremony 23 of the 80 entrants were awarded Highly Commended placings and seven received Commended. For full results and information on all of the finalists – see

A message was read from awards patron, The Right Honourable Helen Clark, ONZ, and former Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage. Category Award Winners were presented with a Neil Dawson designed trophy in recognition of their achievements.

The judging panel for the awards was chaired by Dr Anna Crighton and included four other notable heritage experts: Jenny May, Director of Heritage Management Services; Tim Nees Architect in Residence, University of Canterbury and Chair of the Canterbury Branch of the New Zealand Institute of Architects; Sheila Watson Heritage New Zealand General Manager Southern Office; and Grant Wilkinson Structural Engineer, Ruamoko Solutions.

The Canterbury Heritage Awards recognise excellence in heritage retention and conservation, heritage tourism and education within the public and private sector and promotes the values of best practice heritage retention and conservation to the wider community.




For more information, photos and full citations:

Nicola Henderson

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