New building will reflect heritage

The derelict Waimate main-street building being demolished  will be replaced by another structure that will reflect the town’s Edwardian heritage.

The vacant, earthquake-prone, 99-year-old building at 84 Queen St will make way for a single-storey building that will  boast  a medical centre, ambulance bay and pharmacy.

Project manager Les Buckingham of property owner Waimate Property Holdings said it was likely the new building would be completed by December at a cost of between $1.7 million and $1.9 million.

Building consent was issued by the Waimate District Council late last week.

An architectural design report, submitted to the council by project consultant Rooney Group Ltd, said after the decision was made to demolish the category C heritage building, developers wanted the new building to "reflect the character of the original building".

"One of the key challenges in this project is creating a modern, commercial space expected in today’s business world while projecting the characteristics of Edwardian architecture in keeping with the surrounding buildings and council requirements," the report said.

The report described Edwardian architecture as being popular during the reign of King Edward VII,  between 1901 and 1910, and was notable for its "clean, horizontal lines" and "use of natural materials as part of the design feature".

Last month, Waimate District Council chief executive Stuart Duncan told the Otago Daily Times that due to the council’s categorisation of the building as a category C heritage building, a three-month notification period was required to allow the council to enter into negotiations about a possible demolition, which it backed.

"In this case, council decided not to negotiate as the building is derelict and the construction of a new building will be in keeping with the aesthetics of Queen St."

Mr Buckingham said the demolition was not as straightforward as it would have been if it was a modern building.

"There was a few challenges in this one because there was no internal walls, so there was no bracing you could work with. But  you just quietly go through it and just take your time. Everything’s challenging, but you just work through it."  

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