Christchurch's Bridge of Remembrance and Memorial Arch was one of the city's most treasured remaining historic structures left standing after earthquakes scarred the region. Its restoration required innovation and imagination.
A powerful symbol of the rebuild, Christchurch's iconic Bridge of Remembrance and Memorial Arch was returned to full grandeur.
The SCIRT restoration project recognised the importance of the city's past amid the focus on the future. It proved to be one of the most difficult and rewarding projects of the rebuild.
The Bridge of Remembrance and Memorial Arch was officially opened on Armistice Day, November 11, 1924. Nearly 90 years later, the badly damaged war memorial was again the focus of the people of Christchurch. The Memorial Arch - a site of reflection - was one of the city's most treasured remaining historic structures left standing after a series of earthquakes rumbled through the region.
Repairs to the 360-tonne, 14-metre high and 20-metre wide Memorial Arch - an imposing structure of sharp lines and ornate decoration - included the insertion of steel inside the masonry columns to strengthen the structure and concrete that increased the weight of the arch to 470 tonnes. The addition of a "rocking collar" at the base further supported the reinforced arch. Significant modifications to the articulation of the structure allowed the rocking action to occur in any direction.
A flyover of the completed restoration work can be viewed on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EKSUfmg1jzY
SCIRT's innovative work on the Memorial Arch was recognised with the Canterbury Heritage Awards 2016 Public Realm - Saved and Restored Award.
NB: While several historical and official documents have referred to the "Triumphal" Arch, the correct name is the Memorial Arch.