Passionate restoration gets judges tick

A restoration project for one of Canterbury’s prized buildings carried out by WSP Opus and Higgs Construction has been recognised with a swathe of industry awards.

The Rose Historic Chapel was just three days away from celebrating its centenary when the devastating Canterbury earthquake struck in February 2011, leaving it with severe seismic damage.

The exquisite stained glass rose window, for which the chapel was named, collapsed leaving a gaping hole in the main façade. Three main gable walls collapsed, resulting in the collapse of the entire vestibule roof. Part of the mezzanine floor was also damaged due to the roof collapse.

WSP Opus was engaged by Christchurch City Council to provide architectural and structural engineering services, along with contractor Higgs Construction.

The complex restoration project involved reinstating fallen masonry, replacing structural brick walls with concrete versions, strengthening the roof and foundations, as well as labour-intensive repairs to the stained glass windows.

Rose website

For those involved in the project, protecting the heritage of Rose Chapel was paramount.

“Through careful integration of a new concrete structure with the remaining heritage of the building we’ve been able to preserve this icon of the past for future generations,” says Jamie Lester,  Principal Structural Engineer, Work Group Manager - Building Structures.

In recent weeks the restoration project has received: