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Former Christchurch Police Station building to be imploded


Preparations are on track to demolish the former Christchurch Police Station building by implosion.

The building is owned by Ngāi Tahu Justice Holdings Ltd, a subsidiary of Ngāi Tahu Property Ltd.

Ngāi Tahu Property General Manager Investment Ian Dewar said an exact implosion date is still being finalised however it is scheduled to occur in the first quarter of 2015.

“Implosion was chosen over conventional demolition for a number of reasons – a shorter demolition timeframe, less disruption to neighbours, reduced traffic disruption, improved worker safety – as contractors are not in the building as long and implosion is the more cost-effective method,” he said.

Ceres NZ, the demolition contractor, is partnering with US-based specialist contractor Controlled Demolition Inc. (CDI) which has carried out more than 9,000 successful building implosions around the world, including Radio Network House, Christchurch in August, 2012. 

CDI experts will initiate the implosion and be responsible for the process.

Images and sounds of the demolition are being captured via an art project called the 48 Hereford Street Project.

Artist and project coordinator Trent Hiles, who is also part of the Gap Filler initiative is leading the project.

“Since September 2010 more than 1000 buildings have been demolished in Christchurch city’s central business district. The 48 Hereford Street Project  will pay homage to the hundreds of buildings that have disappeared from the city as a result of the earthquakes,” said Trent.

Using cameras and microphones from vantage points around and throughout the building, the sounds of the interior strip-out are being recorded as the building goes through the demolition process and finally implosion.

The data will be stored with CEISMIC, University of Canterbury’s post-quake digital archive initiative and will be made available free-of-charge for creative, historic and educational purposes.

Ngāi Tahu Property and Ceres NZ are supportive of the project. “The aspect we like most about the 48 Hereford Street Project is that Christchurch residents will have the opportunity to view the implosion at a later date via an audio-visual work to be presented at The Auricle Sonic Arts Gallery in New Regent Street, Christchurch,“  said Ian Dewar.

CPIT’s ArtBox gallery on the corner of Madras and St Asaph streets will also exhibit work that is created from the data.

Please contact Fiona McLeod for more information.