Clarendon Tower to come down
Wed, 04 Jul 2012 6:21p.m.
By Hamish Clark
A Christchurch office high rise where more than 100 workers were trapped in the February earthquake is coming down.
Gerry Brownlee ordered the demolition of the 17-storey Clarendon Tower deeming it too dangerous to remain standing.
“It’s torn the floors away from the frames and the damage we are left with [for] this building [means] the floors are potential for collapse,” says lead CERA structural engineer Carl Devereux.
Most of the floors have been gutted for demolition - a briefcase has been left behind and in the bar below wine glasses and food remain untouched.
“As you can see it’s pretty much as it was at lunch time on the 22nd February,” says Clive Badderley of Smith Crane and Construction.
The central city high-rise near the square housed several prominent law firms. When the quake struck the building swayed over seven metres and stairs collapsed, trapping people inside.
“There were 125 of us stuck on level 10 and there seemed to be no escape and we started preparing to stay the night finding water supplies,” says Gareth Abdinor, a Cavell Leitch Law Associate.
The Cavell Leitch law firm has moved out of the CBD to the suburbs and are now on the ground floor, not in a high rise.
“Staff are loving being on a ground floor - it is 20 steps to an exit at any one time and it gives them a lot of comfort,” says Julian Clarke, a managing partner of the firm.
The firm managed to retrieve documents and wills but left bigger items behind.
“We certainly didn't get out much of our artwork [and] didn't get out some of our library,’ says Mr Clarke.
What is left is stacked in a warehouse.
The high rise should be completed by February next year - in time to make way for a new CBD.
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14/07/2012 9:35:59 a.m.
I'm glad its coming down. I was there on the day and it wasnt good. I was one of the lucky ones who got out. I always feel for those trapped upstairs during all the aftershocks. There were moments I thought...well this is it...this is where it ends.
5/07/2012 9:42:11 a.m.
Its time to make N.Z. a "Single Story" country. To hell with high-rises.. After the other nights quake, we all start to realise how unstable N.Z. can be... Cheers, James.
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