Dorset Street Flats

Grant Type: 
Upgrade Works Grant
Date funded: 
September 2019

The Dorset Street Flats in Christchurch were designed in 1956 by architect Sir Miles Warren as small-scale owner-occupier flats. They were built to a modernist, new-brutalist inspired design whose key innovation was the use of load-bearing concrete block. The style became known as the “Christchurch School” which challenged and influenced the work of other architects. The buildings are recognised as a Category 1 historic place by Heritage New Zealand.

In the Canterbury earthquakes the complex sustained major damage. After an insurance settlement the owners still had a significant funding shortfall and residual structural weaknesses.

Heritage EQUIP funding will support upgrade work that includes:

  • addressing the capacity of the ground and first floor concrete block walls with shear walls and associated ground beams
  • replacing unreinforced concrete block with timber framed walls in some areas
  • establishing a plywood diaphragm at roof level
  • establishing transfer trusses to ensure new shear walls and diaphragms deal with earthquake loads appropriately.

New Zealand Heritage List entry - Heritage New Zealand website