A distinctive building that is being demolished for the CRL project will be rebuilt as a café 2,500km away from New Zealand on the tropical island of Niue. The CRL project has already involved moving Auckland’s historic post office 3mm.
“This is a win-win outcome for everyone,” said Dale Burtenshaw, deputy project manager for the Link Alliance, which is building the tunnels and stations for City Rail Link Ltd. “A well-known destination in the K Road area is preserved and gets a new life, and we remain on track with our construction programme.”
The building was built 25 years ago as a café on the site of a turning circle for Auckland’s old trams. The person behind its construction is now at the centre of its preservation. Rob Roughan, who is of Niuean heritage, intends to reassemble it as a café on a vanilla plantation he is developing to help promote Niue’s tourism.
“Niue is home to fewer than 2,000 people and tourism is an important money earner for the island. The number of visitors is growing, and the hope is that my old café will be nostalgic reminder for some of them.”
When Roughan and his partners built their cafe in 1995, they had the building bolted together instead of welded. This is making deconstruction and reassembly possible. Sections of the building are being packed into a container at the Beresford Square site before it is shipped to Niue.
Over the years, the building has been used for cafes and wine bars and finally as an information hub to inform Aucklanders about the future benefits the City Rail Link project.
Saving the Beresford Square building is part of an active sustainability policy adopted by the Link Alliance. Last year, material salvaged from buildings being demolished at the CRL site in Mt Eden was shipped to Tonga for reuse, and an historic 19th century kauri cottage was trucked to a heritage site in Waikato.
The Link Alliance is a group of New Zealand and international infrastructure companies delivering the main CRL works. The companies are: City Rail Link, Vinci Construction Grands Projets, Downer NZ, Soletanche Bachy International NZ, WSP Opus (NZ), Aecom New Zealand and Tonkin+Taylor.