SAVING THE NG BUILDING
212 Madras Street, affectionately known as the NG Building, is the last of the majestic Victorian and Edwardian style warehouses which characterised Christchurch in the early 1900s, incorporating New Zealand timber and stone. It is not only of important historical significance, but also is of considerable cultural and economic value to the central city.
The building’s architect, Joseph Clarkson Maddison, was well known for a number of significant buildings including the Old Government Building, Mona Vale Homestead, and Clarendon Hotel. Like so many of Christchurch’s treasured heritage buildings, most of Maddison’s buildings were tragically demolished following the 2011 Christchurch earthquakes.
However, the NG Building escaped the worst of the earthquakes, and was one of the first buildings to reopen in central Christchurch. The building was strengthened and restored to its full glory by its owners, for which it has received several heritage awards. In the earthquakes’ aftermath, the building became a beacon of cultural activity, exhibiting local artists and temporarily providing a space for the Christchurch Art Gallery, while nurturing several successful small businesses. Since then, it has continued to be a hub of commerce and culture as the central city slowly recovers around it.
For the beginning of 2021 the future of the building was uncertain. The NG building sits on land intended for the multi-use arena project, although it only occupies a tiny percentage of the overall site. When the stadium was first proposed in 2012, the NG building was incorporated into the original designs so that the building could be preserved. Early this year, to the shock of the owners and tenants, new designs were suddenly released. The new plan stated abruptly that it required the building to be demolished, and the Crown began the process of compulsory acquisition of the NG building.
To support the efforts to save the building we hosted an art auction named 'Hang In There Mate' after the work gifted to Sharon and Roland by the late Ralph Hotere in 2013. It was given with his specific instructions that it be used in service of protecting the building and was one of the last works he made; this work was included in the auction. We asked artists from around the country to contribute works for the auction, with 40% of the proceeds going towards saving the building, and 60% going back to the artists. Through this auction were able to raise funds that went towards fighting to save the building, raise awareness of its plight, and to continue the building’s legacy of showing art and supporting artists.
MOVING THE NG BUILDING
Since the auction, the land minister has signed a deal with Sharon and Roland. We are in preparations to move the entire NG building down the road to a new site behind the Cardboard cathedral, opposite the CTV Park.
We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has supported us throughout this long journey, although it is long from over. The huge public outcry played a massive part in convincing the crown, and without your support we're not sure if this would have happened. Thank you so much.
THE NG BUILDING
212 Madras Street is now one of the few remaining Victorian and Edwardian style warehouses which once characterised the city in the late 19th and early 20th Century. The Bains Building is not only of important historical significance but also is of considerable cultural and economic value to the inner city area.
In 2009 The Civic Trust presented an award for 212 Madras Street for the retention and refurbishment of a heritage building. The building was also awarded a "Heritage Retention Award" in 2012 by the Canterbury Heritage Awards Charitable Trust.
Completed as a warehouse in 1905. The architect, J.C Maddison, was well known “for a great number of important buildings” throughout New Zealand and especially in the South Island. His other significant local buildings included the original Messrs J. Ballantyne and Company department store; Woods Mill in Addington; the “splendid” Kaiapoi Woollen Manufacturing Company’s offices and warehouse; the “new” Warners Hotel, as well as a private residence for Sir Westby Brook Perceval, M.H.R for Christchurch South. In 1879 Maddison had won first and second prize in a design competition for his Christchurch Town Hall plans and in 1887 was elected a Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects.