ZB

Cathedral roof removed as rebuild work starts

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Mon, 28 Mar 2022, 2:22pm
The roof of the Christ Church Cathedral has been removed as part of the deconstruction phase of the rebuild. Photo / George Heard
The roof of the Christ Church Cathedral has been removed as part of the deconstruction phase of the rebuild. Photo / George Heard

Cathedral roof removed as rebuild work starts

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Mon, 28 Mar 2022, 2:22pm

The roof of the Christ Church Cathedral has been removed as part of the deconstruction phase of the rebuild. 

Project director Keith Paterson says It's a pivotal milestone in the rebuild project that will decouple the cathedral into four independently supported sections. 

"Once the gable arches have been removed, and other stabilisation work is complete, the cathedral will be safe enough for personnel to enter for the first time since the February 2011 earthquake. It also paves the way for wall strengthening work to commence." 

Christ Church Cathedral Project Director Keith Paterson. Photo / George Heard 

Removing the crossing roof enables the vertical deconstruction of the cathedral's stone gable arches in the crossing. 

Innovation is playing a key role in the critical milestone, Paterson said. 

"Because the building is too unstable to enter, we've come up with an innovative solution that will see workers enter the cathedral through the roof once the tiles have been removed. 

"This allows for the progressive, top-down deconstruction of the stone gable arches in the crossing. The arches will then be preserved until we're ready to put them back into place." 

Removing the crossing roof enables the vertical deconstruction of the Cathedral's stone gable arches in the crossing. Photo / George Heard 

To allow the work to proceed safely, a temporary steel frame has been lifted on to the roof and secured to new reinforced concrete connection platforms. 

The steel frame is also housing a weatherproof, sliding scaffold roof that will protect the cathedral's heritage fabric while the roof tiles are off. 

To allow the work to proceed safely, a temporary steel frame has been lifted onto the roof and secured to new reinforced concrete connection platforms. Photo / George Heard 

Stabilisation work – the critical pathway efforts before actual rebuilding begins – on the 140-year-old Gothic-style church building began in May 2020. 

After years of public rows and wrangling, the Anglican Synod voted in 2017 by a narrow majority to reinstate the building. 

Christchurch City Council granted a critical resource consent which allowed for the repair and restoration of heritage fabric along with the replacement of the west porch, tower and vestries on the main building. 

It also enabled the superstructure of the main cathedral building to be seismically strengthened.