Keeping Christchurch Art Gallery looking it’s best

Part of Citycare Property’s Facilities Management contract with Christchurch City Council includes the ongoing maintenance and upkeep of a range of council buildings, including Christchurch Art Gallery.

Recently, it was discovered that two of the granite panels that form part of the upper façade were cracked, leading to some immediate steps to secure them prior to the Citycare Property team being able to replace them.

Steel brackets made and installed to prevent cracked panels from falling.

Working to secure the community’s blue-chip assets

“The art gallery is one of our high-profile sites, not just because it forms an integral part of the FM contract but also because it has become an iconic building for the city since it opened in 2003,” says Mike Okey, Citycare Property Project Manager.

Likewise, the gallery is a high-traffic building, attracting a lot of visitors. As such, the damaged panels needed to be replaced as soon as possible as they were deemed to be of very high risk of falling through a glass skylight into the public atrium area.

The Citycare Property team removed the immediate safety risk by installing a temporary barrier over the skylight and then attaching steel brackets to contain the panels while replacements were ordered from overseas.

Expertise in action

Once the panels arrived, the building was scaffolded and the damaged panels replaced via the use of a 27-metre Hiab crane arm.

The removal and replacement of the damaged panels was completed without incident and took two days — one day for the stonemason and one for the roofing contractor to install new flashing.

The project was carried out over a glass-roofed atrium above the main accessway. Two layers of 20mm ply were placed on top of the glass panels and held in place with sandbags. With this precaution in place, thoroughfares within the building remained open during the works, with no disruption to the gallery’s business as usual activities.

The project was delivered under budget by the Citycare Property team.

A 27m Hiab bringing down materials on completion.