New beginning for Knox Church
12 September 2013
Issued by Momentus Public Relations Ltd
New beginning for Knox Church
The $5.5 million project of rebuilding the severely earthquake damaged Knox Presbyterian Church, on the corner of Victoria Street and Bealey Avenue, will be formally confirmed at an official contract signing tomorrow (13/09/2013) at 12.30pm. The contract will be signed by Janet Wilson, Knox Council Clerk and David Freeman of Higgs Construction Ltd, the principle contractor carrying out the project. Also attending will be Alun Wilkie of Wilkie and Bruce Architects the architects responsible for the design and Ron Keating, Project Manager from Knox.
The century-old bricks tumbled and fell, the limestone cracked, and our landmark triple-gabled church on the corner of Victoria Street and Bealey Avenue has had its timber skeleton exposed to public gaze for more than 2 years, ever since the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes shattered the peace of Christchurch.
Now it is time to provide new lightweight cladding for the heritage timber structure which so sturdily defied the violent quakes. By the end of 2014 we plan to have completed a fine modern interpretation of the old 1902 church building. The distinctive peaked roof line and striking interior timbers will remain, but no more bricks! Designed to meet 100% of the building code as at March 2013, and set on a thick raft foundation with walls that will flex in a big quake, the renewed Knox Church could easily last for another 100 years.
The rebuilt church has been planned to be also suitable for community use, with seating for up to 400 people, and with improved insulation, accessibility and acoustics. Sprinklers will provide protection for the venerable timbers in case of fire. With its central location and its own car-parking area, Knox will be a fine venue for weddings, funerals, concerts, lectures and dramatic performances in the future.
Wilkie and Bruce Architects, who have long experience with heritage buildings, are the lead consultants. They are working closely with Aurecon (structural and seismic engineers) and Powell Fenwick (mechanical, electrical, fire and hydraulic engineers). Rawlinsons have provided quantity surveying services and Marshall Day are handling the acoustics. The wonderful century old 1910 pipe organ has survived with minor damage only and will be repaired, upgraded and reinstalled by the South Island Organ Company.
The parish was first established in 1880 and since then, Knox Church has touched the lives of many people. The TV image of the flood lit shell of the damaged church which nightly provided the background for the television news in the days following the February earthquake, has been etched in the minds of the wider public and evoked much interest in New Zealand and beyond.
How are we paying for it?
Funding to fully complete the $5.5 million project has yet to be confirmed. However, we are fortunate that monies received from our insurance pay out, various grants and support of the Knox Trust have made it possible for the work to start.
We are seeking $2 million in fundraising through trust application, personal donations, and are hopeful that the good news of our rebuilding will encourage further financial support from around New Zealand, as people recall family connections and memories associated with Knox Church through the years.
Please attribute all quotes to: Liz Baxendine, Chair of Knox Fundraising Committee.
The signing will take place, weather permitting, on the pavement outside the church on Victoria Street.
Knox Church: http://www.knoxchurch.co.nz/index.html
Various Images of Knox Church: