The Whenua Tapu Chapel and Crematory is an Eisenhofer Architects designed building which was originally built by Maycroft Construction in 1979 and was entered into the Concrete Masonry Association of Australia 1982 award for excellence in Concrete Masonry. A seismic assessment revealed that elements of the building were not compliant with the latest seismic structural construction codes, and the original cremator did not meet the environmental discharge codes.
The original construction included large areas of high concrete block walls and a concrete tile roof with roughsawn timber sarking and fascias throughout. Over the years the curved nature of the roof design and the weight of the concrete roof tiles has allowed some of the original tiles to move slightly creating a potential for weather ingress.
Maycroft were pleased to be accepted to once again provide the construction services to undertake the structural upgrade to the existing building. The work undertaken included replacing all roofs, gutters and downpipes as well as upgrading the structure of the building and bringing it to the current building code. We also provided an internal fit out to create a warmer, more inviting space, through a full repaint, insulation and new heating systems.
A significant part of the works was the dismantling and removal of the original cremator and preparing the area for the new cremator. The crematory had to be completely rearranged to suit the installation of the modern, more efficient, and environmentally friendly cremator. Provision was made for a second cremator to be installed in the future and the roof has been designed to allow it to be removed easily when this occurs.
Before any work began on the site, local Iwi were invited in to provide a blessing for the entire building. The site has significant cultural and spiritual connections for a lot of people and all the works carried out had this at central focus. All the work has been done in consultation with the local funeral directors and they have helped develop the strategy for the building upgrade. After the completion of the project, the building was blessed again.