World War One Sanctuary open
Among the quiet and commemoration on the top floor of the Auckland Museum, builders worked tirelessly to complete a major restoration.
Behind cladding and hoardings sat the World War One Sanctuary, situated within the Museum’s Hall of Memories.
From April through until August the sanctuary was closed for the extensive heritage maintenance and repair work on the windows and framework.
Auckland architect and craftsman Chris Gibbons led the project alongside tradesmen Guillaume Hyvert and Mark Gill.
‘‘The logistics were hard as the museum is one of the hardest buildings I’ve had to work on because it’s open to the public,’’ Gibbons says.
As the air-conditioning for the museum has to be regulated properly, repairing the windows was a tough task.
‘‘All the windows got taken out and obviously the museum has to maintain the same temperature to keep the dust out.’’
The extensive restoration work came under budget at just under $500,000 and involved rebuilding stained glass, removing rust, fixing plaster and stonework all while trying to avoid damaging the floor and the marble monument.
‘‘Every surface had to be protected because a lot of it is irreplaceable and all of this had to happen without anyone knowing, and especially because this space is a quiet place of reflection,’’ Gibbons says.
The sanctuary was originally designed by architects Hugh Grierson, Kenneth Aimer and Keith Draffin
A bronze wreath of kawakawa leaves, with olive, poppy and rosemary surmounting the bronze tripod was designed from the architectural drawings by the sculptor Richard Gross.
The top floor of the museum is dedicated to the memory of fallen soldiers. New Zealand sent more men to fight in the First World War, per head of population, than any other nation with 18,166 Kiwis losing their lives.
As nearly all those killed were buried overseas, and almost onethird have no known grave, the Hall of Memories is a place for commemoration and reflection.
The sanctuary was reopened on August 17. officially
Team Chain Reaction, from left, Mark Freeman, Sue Holmes, Pauline Miler, Craigie McCulloch and Karen Lorimer.