News from University of Canterbury
A venue for for Sir Peter Jackson’s fourth feature film is in line for a New Zealand commercial project award. The University of Canterbury’s Ilam Homestead, where much of Sir Peter’s 1994 movie Heavenly Creatures was filmed, is entered into the awards which will be announced in May.
Many scenes for the film were shot in the homestead and its grounds. The listed heritage building was built around 1911-1918 as a replacement for the original 1860 building which was destroyed by fire.
Following its substantial damage in the earthquakes, the building has been sympathetically restored and strengthened. UC elected to strengthen Ilam Homestead to 100 percent of new building standard. It is now one of the few heritage buildings of its era in Christchurch strengthened to this level.
While the University contributed to upgrades to some utilities and services, over 90 percent of the cost of re-instating the heritage building was covered under the university’s comprehensive material damage insurance policy.
The homestead is built in an English Domestic Revival style. The architectural heritage of the house rests largely on the staircase, internal timber panelling and fire places.
Notable architectural features include the grand porte cochere entrance, red English bond brickwork cavity walls with tuck pointing at the ground floor, roughcast plaster to the first floor, the timber balcony and veranda to the northwest, and slate roofing.
The immaculate post-quake restoration, with wood panelling and period wallpaper, includes one of the few open fireplaces still permitted in Christchurch.
The New Zealand Commercial Project Awards have been established by a group of commercial contractors.