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Restoring Christchurch Town Hall

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Hawkins Construction


Restoration of the Christchurch Town Hall following the 2011 earthquakes.


  • Survey monitoring and 3D modelling services
  • Structural engineering and building condition services
  • Heritage architect services

Project completion

Estimated 2018

Total project value

$127.5 million

Before its closure due to significant damage in the February 2011 earthquake, the Christchurch Town Hall was the city's premier gathering place for performances, civic and cultural events.

In June 2015, the Christchurch City Council agreed to fully restore the heritage-listed building. The Town Hall will be strengthened to 100 percent of the New Building Standard (NBS) and significantly refurbished, ensuring it is a modern, world-class facility. The refurbishment includes a possible reconfiguration of the James Hay Theatre.

Our work

Harrison Grierson undertook earthquake monitoring work on the Town Hall between 2011 and 2013.

Our restoration monitoring started in 2015 and is ongoing, involving a range of technologies and expertise. Our new-technology 3D scanning solutions, enabled our surveyors to produce high-accuracy as-built models of key building features (including the main auditorium for later comparison with the restored as-built model). We also completed comprehensive analysis of the building’s as-built condition (shape and verticality of walls).

We are continuing to monitor the building for movement throughout the restoration works and following any significant earthquake events. For this work, we are providing daily monitoring survey reports, which are sufficiently detailed for the contractors and simple enough for non-technical readers.


Construction has begun and the Council reached its first major milestone in the Town Hall restoration with the beginning of foundation work in November 2015.

The overall restoration is expected to be completed in 2018.

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