Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Valued But Broken: Reconstructing Damaged Built Heritage

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posted on 2021-11-13, 20:19 authored by Page, Bradley

Heritage buildings are an important element of our urban environments, representing the hope and aspirations of a generation gone, reminding us of our achievements and our identity.  When heritage buildings suffer damage, or fall into disrepair they are either met by one of two extremes; a bulldozer or painstaking repair. If the decision to conserve defeats the bulldozer, current heritage practice favours restoration into a mausoleum-type monument to yesteryear. But what if, rather than becoming a museum, these heritage buildings could live on and become a palimpsest of history? What if the damage was embraced and embodied in the repair?  The Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament on Barbadoes Street, Christchurch is the case study building for this thesis. Suffering damage in the Canterbury earthquakes of 2010 and 2011, the Cathedral sits in ruin waiting for decisions to be made around how it can be retained for future generations.  This thesis will propose a reconstruction for the Cathedral through the analysis of precedent examples of reconstructing damaged heritage buildings and guided by a heritage framework proposed in this thesis. The employed process will be documented as an alternative method for reconstructing other damaged heritage buildings.


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Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Degree Name

Master of Architecture (Professional)

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

970112 Expanding Knowledge in Built Environment and Design

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Architecture


Allan, Penny