Latham Construction has been assigned restorations of one of Auckland CBD's historic buildings. Built in 1928 and designed by architect Henry Eli White, the St. James Theatre is one of the New Zealand's buildings with special or outstanding historical significance and value. It has been the venue for many important cinematic and theatrical events held for many royal and important occasions.
Due to the age of the building and a fire damage in 2007, the theatre was closed and has not been open to the public. Restorations of the theatre started in 2014 after Relianz Holdings took ownership of the building. With a funding boost from Auckland Council, further restorations is being performed to improve the safety of the building and ensuring that it is earthquake proof.
One of the major challenges faced by Latham Construction in the restoration of the St. James Theatre is the fragility of the building's features. To keep its historical value and preserve its original features, Latham is required to keep disruption to the building to a minimum. This has been difficult when building machineries and materials needed to be moved into the building without taking down any walls or other structures. Latham found one side of the theatre to be most suitable for moving the materials in. However, the entry is above the base of the building which means a ramp is required to be able to safely move the materials.
Latham found that the most suitable solution for building a ramp are Interbloc's concrete blocks. With its modular quality, Latham is able to build a ramp with minimal disruptions to the building. This also means that once they are finished with the ramp, the blocks can easily be taken down and moved out of the building.
As a result, Latham Construction was able to easily build a ramp for moving machineries and materials in and out of the St. James Theatre without having to disrupt any part of the building. The ramp took a day to set up and will take just the same amount of time to take down, which means valuable time is saved for actual restoration activities.
With Interbloc's engineered system and interlocking design, Latham is provided with peace of mind that the ramp will remain safe and stable when heavy materials are moved in and out of the building.