The Dorset Street Flats were badly damaged in the Canterbury earthquakes in 2010 / 2011. We were commissioned to repair, strengthen, and revitalise the flats.
Quoted from Heritage New Zealand's summary: "The Dorset Street Flats in Christchurch were designed and built between 1956 and 1957 and are amongst the most important domestic buildings built in New Zealand in the second half of the twentieth century. Miles Warren (b. 1929, later Sir Miles Warren) designed them as a young architect and with these flats he launched an architectural vocabulary that would come to distinguish the 'Christchurch School' of post-war architecture and also helped to shape modernist architectural design nationally for over two decades."
Our work combined a mixture of heritage research, and an understanding of how to improve the buildings while respecting how critical their architectural detail is.
The "earthquake prone" Flats have been strengthened up to 70% NBS, with a combination of non-intrusive and instrusive techniques - the obvious insertion is the new exposed concrete core, honouring the "beton brut" influences on the original design.
From a habitability perspective, the Flats are now insulated, heated, and waterproofed, with kitchens and bathrooms sensitively upgraded, reflecting their history while improving their usability.
The project has been an honour and a privilege to be involved in.
NZIA award citation (heritage):
"The renovation of this iconic heritage building demonstrates a thoughtful approach that respects the original design and architect. Seismic strengthening and an additional structure don't disrupt the original aesthetic. The team's attention to detail and commitment to respecting heritage enables a local treasure to endure. This is an exceptional example of how we can honour our past, and ensures the building remains a source of inspiration and joy for future occupants".
NZIA award citation (colour):
"Continuing the original architect's use of colour in building elements and soft furnishings allows the residential development to remain nestled within the era of its creation. Subtle touches of colour pay homage to the building's heritage and provide a sense of continuity that is both comforting and inspiring".