St Patrick’s Church, in its current form, was constructed in 1868 and there had been two churches on the site before this. The church is a small community church serving the catholic community of the Banks Peninsular. The church is an attraction in Akaroa and the Diocese wished to see the church restored.
The idea was to restore the church and add a community room and toilets but the extension proposal was abandoned. The building did not suffer significantly during the earthquakes but did have issues with floor levels, borer and general decay to timber members. Greenstone Group came on board in 2017 during the design phases due to our project manager’s previous experience with the Diocese. The heritage nature made this a unique project where the existing appearance and as much of the fabric had to be retained. The church had to be stripped back to expose, treat, restore or replace damaged timber and begin the restoration.
Greenstone Group were an integral part of the client and design team balancing the inevitable additional repair works with the available budget and the interest of the church parish throughout the build process. Our team managed the expectations of the Parish as well as maintaining the unique nature of the church.
There were many challenges as every time an area was opened-up it required quick and often innovative solutions to maintain the momentum of the build. We instigated a detailed appraisal of the existing cladding, treated and restored elements keeping the heritage aspects. A small extension to the flower room made this a more functional space. We also managed to reinstate the operation of an original 1898 bell.
The church has been fully restored and kept its original identity. The panelling detail has been extended to the Altar, new decorations and carpet has revitalised the interior of the Church. Around the building new paths, steps and ramps have been introduced to improve accessibility. The building has been well received by the community, parish council and Heritage New Zealand. The Church was officially opened by the new Bishop for the Labour Day service. We are proud to have worked on this project.