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New Support Framing Changes The Face Of Christ Church Cathedral


An impressive steel frame measuring 13.2 metres high by 10.3 metres wide has been installed today on the western façade of Christ Church Cathedral.

Project Director Keith Paterson says the 18-tonne frame is a key component of the stabilisation work and will be a permanent structural element of the Cathedral, eventually housing the Rose Window.

“Installing this frame, means the face of the Cathedral will be significantly changed for the first time since the earthquakes.

Cladding under the banner will provide weather protection for the heritage fabric of the Cathedral.

“We’re delighted that our main contractor Naylor Love has sponsored a banner to go over the cladding featuring an image of the reinstated West Gable and new Rose Window.

“This will significantly improve the look of the façade. It will remain in place for some time ahead of the eventual reinstatement of the west end area,” says Mr Paterson.

“Installing the frame required considerable preparation and planning. The west end frame provides lateral stability and is tied to the roof and clerestory (upper side walls). To do this it must be fixed to the existing west wall buttresses and carefully designed and measured to fix the permanent connections. 

“The next major steel frame will be installed on the North Transept, which will be similar to the South Transept supporting frame. We will then follow a process to decouple the Apse (east end) from the main building at the Cathedral Crossing, after which it will be safe to start the deconstruction of the West Porch and remaining lower west wall. This will then give us access to the nave for future reinstatement,” Mr Paterson says.

Dean of Christ Church Cathedral Lawrence Kimberley says it is wonderful to have this frame in place in time for Christmas 2020.

“Each day we are a step closer to achieving our vision of reinstating this Cathedral Church as an awe-inspiring symbol of life, regeneration and healing, and as a testament to what can be achieved by people working together.”
 

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