2012 Awards

Throughout 2012, the heritage fabric of Christchurch has continued to diminish. However, it has been heartening that, in the midst of so much loss, there have been encouraging signs, with some property owners making a real effort to save what remains.

This year the Trust received a total of 17 nominations for consideration by the Awards sub-committee, from which 6 awards, including 2 commendations, have been given.

The awards and commendations decided this year, as in 2011, have been given to projects that have contributed in one way or another to the evitalisation of the city. This year, as well as projects that involve the retention and restoration of heritage buildings, there have been others that have added to the social and cultural aspects of the community and these have been appropriately acknowledged.

Those awarded include the owners of The Valley Inn, Heathcote, The Urban Youth Hub, Barbadoes Street, The Court Theatre, Addington, St Margaret’s College, The Cathedral Grammar School and the Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu.

The members of the awards adjudication panel for 2012 are: Neil Roberts (convenor), Vivien Bishop, Joanna Mackenzie, Jacqueline Smith, Ian Clark, Ross Gray and David Thornley.


Valley Inn, Heathcote


The Valley Inn, Heathcote Valley


Awarded in recognition of the revitalisation of a heritage site with the replacement of a complimentary building whilst maintaining an historical existing use.

The old wedge shaped Valley Inn was a landmark building on the corner of Marsden and Flavell Sts, Heathcote, for 134 years, but damage from the 2010/11 earthquakes resulted in its having to be demolished.

The first building on the site in 1877 was the Heathcote Valley Hotel, built in brick as a single storey accommodation house for workers constructing the Horotane reservoir. Located opposite the Heathcote railway station, this hotel originally comprised 12 rooms but was altered and extended over the years to meet contemporary needs. In 1938, its name was changed to The Valley Inn.

Following the 4 February earthquake the owners reluctantly decided that demolition was the only course to take. However, as the Valley Inn had been such an important part of the community a commitment was made to replace it with a building of comparable identity.

The new Valley Inn was designed by architects Robert Weir and Jason Walker of Weirwalker Architecture. Construction began in May of 2011 and it was opened on 27 August.

The Court Theatre


Entrance to the Court Theatre, Addington


Awarded for initiative and enterprise in revitalising an unused grain store for the focus of cultural activity within a former semi-industrial environment. Providing a much needed temporary theatre within a six month period.

The Court Theatre has played a major role in the cultural life of Christchurch – much of that located at the Christchurch Arts Centre. However the damage caused by the 2010/11 earthquakes left the theatre without a home.

With the determination strong to reopen as soon as possible, within a short time the Court Theatre management began the search for alternative premises. Potential for a new temporary location was found in the industrial area of Addington.

Following a vigorous, successful fund raising campaign in 2011, a disused 1940s grain storage shed was fitted out and up and running within 6 months.

Whilst the Court Theatre has found a home it is still committed to retuning to the centre of the city.

Design of the new theatre was by Stewart Ross of Fulton Ross Team Architects in collaboration with the Court Theatre Artistic Director, Ross Gumbey. The 644 sq metre auditorium of the theatre replicates the intimacy of the former Court theatre, but is much improved. The foyer has been designed for dual-purpose use and has been put to good purpose over the past year as a venue for small performances and public gatherings.

The success of the new theatre is that it has not only been able to accommodate all departments on the same site, but has also been able to establish greatly improved workshop and rehearsal spaces as well as offices for administration and marketing.

Inveresk House

Inveresk House, 17 Armagh St

Awarded for the retention and upgrade of a building of significant heritage character on a key inner city education site and thereby retaining the residential quality of West Armagh Street.

The Christchurch Civic Trust is pleased to award the Cathedral Grammar School for its retention of one of the oldest inner city dwellings. The earliest part of this house was constructed as a modest cottage in 1863. In 1879, it was purchased by John Anderson Jnr (1850-1934), the eldest son of John Anderson, who established in Christchurch an iron foundry that played a major part in the progress of engineering in New Zealand during the colonial period.

The name Inveresk was given to the house after John Anderson senior’s place of birth near Edinburgh.

Inveresk remained in the Anderson family until 1967 and during that time was added to twice. In 1880, a two-storey addition was built and the house was further expanded a second time in 1890. In its heyday, the extensive gardens of Inveresk were the venue for many garden parties and events.

In 1967, the Anglican Church Property Trustees purchased the property and, soon after, transferred it to the Cathedral Grammar School Trust Board.

Extensive internal renovations were carried out in 1973 to upgrade the house for use as a headmaster’s residence. Further alterations occurred in 1986 when Inveresk was divided into 2 flats.

Following a decision in 1994 to establish a girls’ school, Inveresk came under threat of demolition This was averted when the Christchurch City Council declined the application to demolish. A new use was found for the house and the interior was altered again, this time to the design of the architectural firm of Trengrove and Blunt.

In 2001 demolition was considered a second time, but declined. Inveresk continued to be used by the girls’ school until 2001 when it became vacant.

From 2004, it was leased for commercial used but during the 2011 earthquake, Inveresk moved off its foundations. These have since been replaced and the building completely refurbished for ongoing school use.

Reconstruction: conversation on a city


The Exhibition Reconstruction


Awarded in recognition of the initiative and enterprise
in raising the community’s awareness and appreciation of Christchurch built heritage through a distinctive public event.

When the Christchurch Art Gallery was requisitioned in February 2011 for civil defence purposes, it had to radically reassess its exhibition programme.

Among the exhibitions affected was one being prepared on the lost heritage of Christchurch, using works from the Gallery collection as well as historic photographs of Christchurch. The alternative was either to cancel the exhibition or find an alternative venue. It was decided to move the exhibition, albeit radically modified, outside to Worcester Boulevard.

The exhibition ‘Reconstruction: conversation with a city’, curated by Ken Hall, opened on 23 June. Comprising 48 free standing panels, it is an historical journey through the Christchurch of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, depicted by enlarged, digitised images after paintings drawings and prints, largely from the Christchurch Art Gallery collections, augmented with historical photographs and plans from Canterbury Museum and elsewhere. Labelling commentary has been written by several well-known historians and heritage advocates.

Included among the earliest images are those made in the late 1840s and the most recent, in 2012.

Early photographs by Dr Alfred Barker and the Burton brothers are reproduced, revealing how the wooden structures of early Christchurch gave way to more permanent buildings, designed by architects B. W. Mountfort, W. Armson, J. J. Collins, Samuel. C. Farr, J. C. Maddison, R. D. Harman, Samuel Hurst Seager, the Luttrell brothers and others who transformed Christchurch as it evolved into a city.

The exhibition is a timely and fitting tribute to the loss of so much of the heritage fabric of the City.

The Civic Trust is pleased award the Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu for not only the concept and appropriateness of the exhibition, but also the quality of presentation in an outdoor space.


The Youth Hub, Barbadoes Street


One of the houses in the Youth Hub


Awarded for the initiative in raising public awareness of a group of heritage building’s through reuse for a variety of social youth benefits.

The Christchurch Civic Trust is pleased to commend all those involved in establishing the Youth Hub on Barbadoes St, between Gloucester and Worcester Sts and for finding a new function for 11 inner city wooden heritage dwellings, likely destined for demolition.

The idea of a youth hub was the inspiration of Dr Sue Bagshaw, chair of the Korowai Youth Wellbeing Trust and Peter Young, manager of Actionworks Transition Trust. Central to the Youth Hub is its location as a free one-stop-shop for youth between 10 and 24, to assist their needs. Included are help and advice with health, employment, education legal matters and many other problems. Also located in the hub are the RUD radio station and the youth market, which is held every Saturday afternoon.

At present, 16 organisations are operating in the Hub and there are plans for the addition of another 12 as houses are refurbished and become available.

All 11 houses in the hub were formerly backpacker accommodation, but with the fall off in visitors after the 2010/11 earthquakes they became vacant and a new opportunity for reuse emerged.

Attention by the organisers has been made to link all the properties in the hub by gardens and by adding distinctive colour decorative features to each of the houses.

There has been much collaboration with the Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology architectural students in determining the most appropriate renovation of these properties. Although still somewhat experimental, the Youth Hub stands as a delivery model for youth services in New Zealand.

Kilburn House, 71 Papanui Rd


Kilburn House, 71 Papanui Rd


Awarded for the upgrading of a building that has important heritage value.

Although it was found to be structurally sound following the February 2011 earthquake, St Margaret’s College’s Kilburn House required attention to its foundation and was immediately closed for repairs. Much of the interior was deconstructed, foundations lifted and considerable rebuilding took place both inside and out at a cost of $2 million. The contract builder was Mark Prosser Builders Ltd

Whilst a certain amount of compromise between old and new could be said to have occurred, Kilburn has retained much of its original shape, many original features and its landscape identity on Papanui Rd.

Kilburn is reputed to have been built in 1880 as the private residence of James W. H. Blake, an hotel-keeper and one-time licensee of the A1 Hotel Colombo St.

In 1902, it became the home of Mrs Sarah Elworthy of Timaru. At that time Kilburn had 2.12 acres of grounds.

In 1921, Kilburn was sold to the Anglican Church and subsequently leased to the Sisters of St Margaret’s College. Additions were made in1924 to convert it to be a permanent hostel.

From 1941, it became known as Kilburn House after the Kilburn Anglican sisters who had played a major role in the school when it opened in 1910.

In 1956, the house passed to the control of the St Margaret’s College Trust Board.

Today it is the hostel residence for 75 girls from years 11 and 12.

The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the Christchurch Civic Trust.