Newly-restored School of Art building open day

27 February 2019

Doors to one of the most recently restored Arts Centre te Matatiki Toi Ora heritage buildings are being opened to the public in May.

The School of Art (1877) category one heritage building was badly damaged – as were most of the Arts Centre’s heritage Gothic Revival buildings – in the February 2011 earthquake, but has been meticulously restored and strengthened by a dedicated and talented team.

Be one of the first to take a look inside and check out the restored building when it reopens to the public on Sunday 12 May 2019 from 1.00pm to 3.00pm. Please note this has been changed from the original date of Sunday 17 March due to the attack on the Christchurch Muslim community.

The open day entrance will be on the corner of Rolleston Avenue and Hereford Street, opposite the YMCA.

The restored building features spaces available to hire for meetings, classes, workshops and more. These are the Maker Workshop, a “messy” community arts space, and a community meeting room. Email the venues manager to find out more or to make a booking enquiry.

As well as being home to the workshop and the community meeting room, the restored School of Art building also features a hospitality offering and leasable office space.

The building was originally home to Christchurch Girls’ High School, which moved to larger premises in Cranmer Square in 1881. At the time Canterbury College (now the University of Canterbury) occupied much of the rest of the modern-day Arts Centre site, so moved its the School of Art into the space.

The re-opening of the building will be marked with a small, private ceremony on 15 March and will mark the end of the first stage of the Arts Centre’s restoration. More than two-thirds of the centre’s 23 buildings have now reopened and are home to galleries, museums, boutique retailers, eateries, venues and more.

Work started on the second stage, which includes the Engineering, Physics, Biology and Observatory Tower buildings, at the beginning of the year. The charitable trust is fundraising $10 million to restore the tower and late last year announced plans to build a boutique arts hotel in the Physics and Biology buildings. The hotel will be operated by Sarin Investments, an experienced, family-owned, Kiwi company.

A New Zealand landmark, the Arts Centre is a hub of culture, creativity, education and entrepreneurship dating back to 1877. It is an independent charitable trust for the people of Canterbury and its visitors.

The centre is home to the country’s largest collection of category one heritage buildings with 21 of its buildings listed as being among the most important historic places by Heritage New Zealand.

For more information, please contact:

Jo Gilbert
Communications and engagement manager
The Arts Centre te Matatiki Toi Ora
(03) 364 9725