Whenua Tapu Refurbishment & Seismic Strengthening

Whenua Tapu Refurbishment & Seismic Strengthening

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. However, a recent 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.read more

Maycroft were pleased to be accepted to once again provide the construction services to undertake the structural upgrade to the existing building.  The work being undertaken includes replacing all roofs, gutters and downpipes as well as upgrading the structure of the building and bringing it to the current building code. This also includes upgrading the interior of the building to create a warmer, more inviting space, through a full repaint, insulation and new heating systems.

A significant part of the works is the dismantling and removal of the original cremator and preparing the area for the new cremator. The Crematory is being completely rearranged to suit installation of the modern, more efficient, and environmentally friendly cremator to be installed. Provision is also being made for a second cremator to be installed further down the line should the increase in capacity be required later. The cremator roof has been designed to allow it to be removed easily when this occurs.

The site has significant cultural and spiritual connections for a lot of people and all the works carried out have this as a 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.

Before any work began on the site, local Iwi were invited in to provide a blessing for the entire building. All the bronze plaques were removed from the walls of the after-service arcade and stored off site for protection. These will be reinstalled after the construction works have been completed. The fire bricks from the original cremator were removed and buried in the adjacent cemetery, following a blessing ceremony. The building will be blessed again when the construction is complete and the new cremator is commissioned, prior to the first services being conducted.