Prestigious Restoration Award

6 November, 2017 - Great Hall and Clock Tower

The Arts Centre’s restoration has received two significant heritage awards, bringing its post-earthquake award tally to five.

Awards were received from the prestigious UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation and from the New Zealand Institute of Architects. In addition, Holmes Consulting’s work on the restoration made the shortlist of the “Oscars of structural Engineering” – the Institution of Structural Engineers’ 2017 Structural Awards.

The recognition relates to the post-earthquake restoration of two of the Arts Centre’s most historically valuable buildings – the Great Hall and Clock Tower.

Great Hall restoration.

It’s the fourth time a New Zealand project has been recognised by the UNESCO awards, with the Arts Centre taking out honours in a field of 43 projects from 10 countries.

Judged by an international panel of conservation experts, a total of 16 awards were presented to diverse projects from six countries – the others being from Australia, China, India, Iran and Singapore.

Duong Bich Hanh, Chair of the Jury and Chief of UNESCO Bangkok’s Culture Unit, says the resurrection of the Great Hall and Clock Tower has returned a major historic landmark back to the public, which now continues to serve as a social, educational and cultural hub in the community.

“The restoration… celebrates a memorable step towards the city’s recovery following the devastating earthquakes of 2010 and 2011.

Clock Tower restoration

“Suffering major damage, the Gothic Revival masonry structures underwent a sophisticated regime of seismic strengthening and retrofitting, along with painstaking reconstruction of significant heritage features such as the turret and stained glass windows. Modern facilities and services were discreetly inserted to enhance the contemporary functionality of the buildings.”

The second award came from the New Zealand Institute of Architects which presented Christchurch architecture firm Warren and Mahoney a heritage award. The institute noted the “painstaking attention to detail and faithful replication” of the Arts Centre.

Meanwhile, the restoration was shortlisted in the Structural Heritage category in the Institution of Structural Engineers’ 2017 Structural Awards. This award recognises excellence in structural design where important heritage characteristics of the original structure are maintained through appropriate restoration, conservation, extension or refurbishment.

Arts Centre Chief Executive André Lovatt says the awards provide significant endorsement for the magnificent restoration work underway at the Arts Centre.

“It is fantastic recognition for the entire team who has worked so hard and with such passion.”


Image gallery of the restoration and completed buildings.

Driving & Parking

The Arts Centre has a limited number of 10 and 60 minute visitor carparks located at Market Square near the corner of Worcester Boulevard and Montreal Street.

Plenty of on-street metered parking is available near the Arts Centre, along with a number of off-street carparks.