Heritage

Dunedin Railway Station

Location

Dunedin

Client

Dunedin City Council

Date

2021-2023

The Dunedin Railway Station is one of New Zealand’s most iconic architectural landmarks, renowned for its Edwardian design and its symbolic role in the country’s rapid railway expansion during the late 19th century. Salmond Reed Architects spearheaded the conservation efforts to repair and maintain the building’s exterior on behalf of Dunedin City Council.

Stonework
Conservation
Maintenance
Materials
Specialist materials
Repairs
Restoration

The station, designed by George Alexander Troup, is considered his most prominent work, earning him a Royal Institute of British Architects award. Its striking design incorporating a combination of Kokanga and Port Chalmers basalt and Oamaru stone dressings has positioned it as one of the most photographed heritage buildings in New Zealand.

Our conservation philosophy centered around a priority of repairing defects, refitting and reusing existing materials, and their replacement only when necessary and with high-quality sources. To understand the building's condition, we conducted a thorough survey in 2018, to establish a major repair project based on three stages of work, starting with the linear single storey range followed by the two halves of the main building. The project was undertaken over three years as a single contract and completed in late 2023.

Adhering to our conservation principles, we collaborated with specialist local craftsmen to balance the needs of repair and future integrity of the building with our core aim of minimal loss of original materials. This was achievable for the original Marseille terracotta roof tiles with 75% re-used, 100% re-use of original copper fish-scale tiles to the two clocktower domes, and localised repair of Oamaru stone masonry and timber joinery. The poor condition and inadequate detailing of the original lead internal gutter linings required their complete replacement, and the extent of corrosion in zinc tiles to the domes of the main building necessitated their replacement in copper.

The repaired iconic landmark of Dunedin continues as a significant part of the townscape and remains as a major tourist attraction. This wonderful building stands as a testament to New Zealand's architectural heritage. The project received a Heritage Award at the Te Kāhui Whaihanga NZ Institute of Architects Southland Architecture Awards 2024, and in conjunction with Naylor Love Dunedin the project received a gold award and national heritage category winner awarded by the Master Builders Association in 2024.

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Address

Level 4, Landmark House
187 Queen Street
Auckland CBD 1010

Mailing
PO Box 105929, Auckland City 1143