Nazareth House complex a success

Nazareth House complex a success
The Nazareth House complex includes a chapel, convent and 60 high-quality independent retirement villas.

An extremely high level of communication and collaboration were key to the successful construction of the new chapel/convent and retirement villas for Nazareth House, says Sean Farrell, managing director of Christchurch’s commercial building company, Farrell Construction Ltd.
Fortnightly project meetings between Farrell Construction, Ian Krause the project architect from IKON Architecture, Gerard Stribling representing Nazareth House and Garry Donnithorne deputy chair of the Nazareth Board, ensured issues were resolved quickly, amicably and fairly.
The result has been the completion of a beautifully finished complex consisting of a chapel, convent and 60 high-quality independent retirement villas.
An 80-bed aged care facility adjoining the chapel and convent had already been completed. The care facility includes a café, shop and cinema; all of which are available to residents of the villas.
The chapel, convent and aged care facility replaced buildings lost to the Christchurch earthquakes on the same 8-hectare Sydenham site in Brougham Street.
Successful in its bid to undertake development of the chapel and convent, Farrell Construction was later engaged as main contractor to complete the retirement village.
Built as high-end duplex blocks in stages over 24 months, 60 two and three bedroom units were completed in January 2018.
Taking 12 months to complete, the chapel and convent was also completed in January 2018. Central to the complex is the 640sqm chapel with its 11metre high vaulted cathedral ceiling.
Extensive use of scaffolding enabled Farrell Construction craftsmen to complete the interior to the very high standard set by the architectural team.
Sean says the exterior specifi cation of the chapel included a zinc aluminum tile cladding system for the vertical walls, a first for Christchurch, along with Sto plaster and aluco bond board in other areas.
With virtually no tolerance, there was no margin of error when cutting the 300mm x 300mm zinc tiles.
“Each individual tile had to be cut, rolled then rolled again on site for the corners—every one of them had to be cut straight. The roof configuration was also a challenge, with six different roof gradient,” explains Sean.
Built to the same standard as a bespoke high-end home, the 500sqm single story 8-bedroom convent is the private residence for the Sisters of Nazareth and also provides guest accommodation.
Nazareth House complex a success
Sean says with that aged care facilities requiring higher service specifications, including fire ratings, those same specifications had to be replicated in the adjoining walls of the chapel and convent.
“While, we had the high architectural design standards to meet within the chapel and convent, we also had to meet very high statutory requirements, which was at times challenging.”
Sister Ana, Nazareth House’ Sister Superior, says the new chapel is a beautiful building, containing much history.
“The chapel was designed to accommodate treasures that were in the first and second chapel, including stained glass windows, the original marble altar, benches and what we call the Stations of the Cross which are quite beautiful paintings. “There are beautiful wooden doors from the previous chapel.”
While the retirement village is a new concept for the Sisters of Nazareth, it is designed to provide a community within a community for its residents, close to the chapel, cafe, shop and cinema facilities on site, and reflects a growing need.
Sister Ana says all but two of the independent villas have now been sold, with two more to be built.
She says the whole idea is for the Sisters to make a difference to the lives of the elderly of Christchurch. And she say that the aged care facility is a “key part” of that.
Established seven years ago, Farrell Construction has been involved in a number of restoration projects within Christchurch including the Isaac Theatre Royal and University of Canterbury Central Library.
“About 85 percent of the work that we do is commercial construction, anything from schools to a heavy construction like warehouses,” says Sean.
“We also do a lot of structural strengthening and refurbishment of commercial buildings,” he says. The construction company recently opened a branch in Queenstown and is in the process of establishing a Wellington presence.
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