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Global commendation for work on Arts Centre

Press Release – Holmes Consulting Group

22 November 2017 Global commendation for work on Arts Centres Great Hall and Clock Tower
22 November 2017

Global commendation for work on Arts Centre’s Great Hall and Clock Tower

Holmes Consulting’s work on the Christchurch Arts Centre’s earthquake-damaged Great Hall and Clock Tower has been described as a “significant and elegant feat of structural heritage renovation” by the world’s largest professional organisation for structural engineers.

The company has been commended at the 50th Institution of Structural Engineers annual awards in London for its work on Block C at the Centre. The institution has 27,000 members, working in more than 100 countries.

Awards judges said Holmes Consulting’s engineers had overcome multiple challenges.

“They required cataloguing of thousands of structural and non-structural elements, painstaking deconstruction of roof and wall elements to enable seismic-resistant structural components to be inserted within the original volumes, before reinstating the original exposed features in their previous positions.”

“Strengthening roofs, floors, walls and foundations, and binding them together to produce a seismic-resistant structural whole in a manner that is all but invisible, is a significant and elegant feat of structural heritage renovation.”

The commendation comes just weeks after the restoration of the Great Hall and Clock Tower received an Award of Merit at the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation.

Holmes Consulting’s CEO Designate, Hamish Nevile, says the Arts Centre work was extremely complex.

“Holmes Consulting has always appreciated the complexity of this project and the achievements of our people working on it. But to have this recognised at an international level by our structural engineering peers is fantastic. This success is also testimony to the vision and passion of the Arts Centre Trust Board.

“The Arts Centre is held dear by many Cantabrians, whether or not they still live in the region. We have been honoured to work on its restoration, and we are honoured to receive this international commendation.”

Holmes Consulting was also commended at the awards – which recognised 20 projects from around the world – for its work on the seismic strengthening of the 30-storey Majestic Centre in Wellington. The judges noted the complexity of carrying out the work while the building was fully occupied.


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