Landsborough House / URS House Demolition

The best show in town at the moment… I’m not sure what it is that so engrosses some of us to watch these building demolitions. I know many people can’t watch or have no desire to at all. But for those who are interested in the process we are entranced by the animal-like quality of the demolition machines we see at work in our city.

This is Christchurch… a latte to go with a side of demolition.

Here’s a video I also took of the demolition of what was also known as URS House.

3 responses to “Landsborough House / URS House Demolition”

  1. As for those who get so engrossed in watching these demolitions take place, I suspect it has something to do with a fascination for watching raw power in action without as much regard for that which is being demolished, albeit I know there has to be at least a few powerful exceptions to this, such as the ChristChurch Cathedral at Cathedral Square.

    Just curious if people go in beforehand (assuming it’s relatively safe) and remove fixtures, and other items of value that can be put to later re-uses elsewhere as I’m sure there are quite a few artworks, lighting fixtures, and other miscellaneous design and architectural elements at some locations that would look great elsewhere (even in homes too) if only they could be saved.

    Anyway, it does seem a bit weird to see folks enjoying their caffeine fixes in a relaxed atmosphere while taking in the demolitions!


    • Hi Robert, yes it is indeed weird to see how much of a spectator sport the demolitions are. This one was impressive for the speed they were working at and just how much machinery was being used at the same time. Iron dinosaurs snacking on our city is what I keep thinking of. As for getting stuff out first – I believe if the building is safe enough a lot is removed first, especially anything valuable.


  2. If the building is safe, or can be made safe, the tenants/owner usually have an opportunity to access and remove as much as they can (depending on the overall safety of the building). We were allowed several visits to ours, but in the end it came down to energy.

    Then the demolition companies take over. They will soft strip it if the building is safe, and take all the contents, fixtures and fittings out, salvaging and recycling what they can.

    There are several buildings which are too damaged to access. These are then ‘dirty demoed’ with everything still inside. Heart breaking for the tenants, but in the end, they, like all who were in the CBD on Feb 22, understand how much more important human life is than their ‘things’.

    As it is, the skilled demolition crews still put their own lives in danger every day, as they work hard and long hours to ensure that our city will be able to move forward and rebuild again. I have nothing but the utmost respect for them, and this is why I enjoy watching them and their machinery do their job.


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