Conservation ProgrammeWith 23 Category 1 buildings on over 5.5 acres of central city land, the Arts Centre is one of New Zealand’s most significant heritage sites. Guided by Conservation Plans, an ongoing conservation programme ensures heritage integrity of the buildings well into the future.
This work is planned, carried out and recorded in accordance with the state-of-the-art and the internationally accepted conservation principles as set out in the ICOMOS New Zealand Charter.
The Arts Centre has developed good working relationships with the New Zealand Historic Places Trust, Christchurch City Council and independent heritage experts, to ensure that conservation and maintenance work is consistent with conservation best practice, while ensuring the site's viability as a centre for arts, culture and education.
Generally, the philosophy for the renewal and repair of original building fabric such as stonework, timber and slate roofs, has been to only work on the damaged areas as an efficient way of using resources, and leaving as much original fabric intact as possible.
Many major projects have also been completed, including site-wide installation of fire sprinkler and smoke detection systems, stonework replacement, earthquake strengthening, stone replacement and new slate roofs. In 2008, the School of Art building (corner of Rolleston Avenue and Hereford Street) was refurbished and seismically strengthened at a cost of $1.6 million.
The Arts Centre’s Property Team includes carpenters, painters, a stonemason and site services staff. Their heritage conservation skills are well recognised, and sought after in support of restoration projects city-wide. The Arts Centre is one of the most progressive building conservation sites in the southern hemisphere. Conservation projects are funded in the main by the Arts Centre itself, an annual conservation grant from the Christchurch City Council, and grants from funding bodies such as the New Zealand Lottery Grants Board.