Cook Brothers Construction alongside Christchurch City Council and Fulton Ross Team Architects, have officially returned this community icon to the city of Christchurch, restored and stronger than ever. Initially built in 1864, the beautiful Risingholme Homestead affected by earthquakes and then an arson attack in 2016, was in dire need of restoration.
Cook Brothers Construction was tasked to complete the heritage restoration on this beautiful historic building which housed 32 rooms and four fireplaces. The project involved the re-build the upper storey, roof, and chimneys, incorporating bracing in the walls to strengthen them, and remaking ornate features such as the marble fireplaces from salvaged pieces.
With over half of the building lost to fire, the project was faced with many unknowns. The team, alongside local historians and archaeologists, used historical photographs as reference points for restoration. After so much damage to the original building, the scope of this project would have been daunting to even the most experienced of contractors. With their extensive experience in heritage restoration, our Canterbury team approached every task and challenge on this project with the utmost care and diligence. With a large amount of neighbourhood interest, our team was inspired to restore this building to its original grandeur, to do right not only to the building but to its community as well.
With heritage, restoration comes challenges with time. By its very nature, heritage restoration is a process of maintaining consistency and staying true to the original design. This process involves many stakeholders with an invested interest and abiding by the rules which apply to historic buildings. Together with the client Cook Brothers negotiated fair extensions to the time frame and delivered a project which met their target dates.
Cook Brothers are incredibly proud of this restoration. Our team was heavily involved in a design and build aspect of the re-build and strengthening. For our team, the project was an opportunity to carry out works with non-traditional methods including old school notching, multiple layering on dado and trim mouldings as well as working with lead flashing and fire repair.
Our Canterbury team are passionate about restoring their rich history. We are proud to have brought Risingholme Homestead back to life, an essential part of Christchurch's story, now fully restored it can continue to house the community, support local businesses and be a beacon of resilience.