Christ Church Cathedral reinstatement team named

Boffa Miskell is one of the key consultants appointed to undertake the reinstatement of Christ Church Cathedral and will oversee the urban design and landscape architecture components.

Led by landscape architect Nik Kneale, a senior principal in the Christchurch office, the team includes urban designers Tim Church and Dhanesh Amerasingam, and landscape architect Gabe Ross.

The Christ Church Cathedral has been a city landmark since it was built between 1864 and 1904. Photo credit: Tim Church

The Christ Church Cathedral has been a city landmark since it was built between 1864 and 1904. Photo credit: Tim Church

Boffa Miskell’s office is just across the Ōtākaro Avon River from Cathedral Square, and with team members having fond memories of their time in and around the cathedral, Kneale says being part of this project is particularly meaningful.

Within the perimeter fence, significant trees, memorials and a range of built features remain. As with other post-earthquake projects, the design team will seek to balance the heritage aspects with new interventions,

“Cathedral Square is the geographic centre of the planned city, with Christ Church Cathedral being at its heart,” says Kneale. “The relationship between the cathedral and its context is of pivotal importance, and will be a focus for our work. While the ruin has become a symbol of the destructive Canterbury Earthquakes, now is the time to look ahead to the cathedral once again being a prized part of the city’s fabric.”

The Cathedral was affected by earthquakes on 5 December 1881, 1 September 1888 and 16 November 1901. Each time the spire was damaged. After the 1901 earthquake, the top of the tower was replaced by hardwood sheathed in copper. The building suffered minor damage in the earthquakes of September and December 2010, but was devastated by the 22 February 2011 earthquake. Photo credit: Tim Church

The Cathedral was affected by earthquakes on 5 December 1881, 1 September 1888 and 16 November 1901. Each time the spire was damaged. After the 1901 earthquake, the top of the tower was replaced by hardwood sheathed in copper. The building suffered minor damage in the earthquakes of September and December 2010, but was devastated by the 22 February 2011 earthquake. Photo credit: Tim Church

Project partners include Warren and Mahoney Architects; heritage consultants Salmond Reed Architects; award-winning Norwegian architectural firm SnØhetta; and Holmes Consulting for structural engineering.

Boffa Miskell has been deeply involved with the post-earthquake rebuild, beginning with its role as leader of the Blueprint 100 Consortium in 2012 and through to recent projects like the restoration of Victoria Square.

“We’re a Christchurch-based practice. Boffa Miskell started here and has always been here. We’re coming into this with a significant portfolio of work in the central city, both pre- and post-earthquake,” says Kneale.

“We’ve been involved with interventions and activations around the square during the past years so we feel a real connection to the place. We’re very honoured to be part of this, and looking forward to getting started.”