DTZ Building Demolition Cashel Mall

These guys were lifted up to the top of the building to attach a line to a beam

Today, my partner Bruce and I went into town for a bite to eat. We didn’t expect to spend the next 4 and half hours wandering around the city and seeing not one but two buildings demolished.  It’s not everyday you have a front row seat to a building demolition – even in Christchurch (as most of the buildings coming down are in the ‘red zone’ and no public are allowed). The DTZ building in the Cashel Mall (right by the Bridge of Remembrance) is just behind the cordon – so anyone can wander up and watch the building being pulled down.

I honestly did not know what to think or feel as I watched this building being pulverised by a wrecking ball. Part of me was absolutely fascinated by the process, but I also felt sombre and wanted to speak in hushed tones. Quite a crowd gathered around to watch and even though it started raining lightly and it was freezing cold people seemed fixated on the building. We watched the engineers go up, wondered what they were doing, then realised there was a beam that they wanted to come down and that they’d attached a cable around the beam. A very large digger then proceeded to pull the beam down. And then the wrecking ball started on the building and it was stunning to watch. After the wrecking ball the digger comes back and goes right into the heart of the building and pulls at things and then walls and floors and paper and filing cabinets and debris go flying down and out landing in a huge pile on the road beside the building.

Attaching the steel cable to the beam
So bizarre to see the office walls with notices pinned onto bulletin boards
There goes the wrecking ball. It didn't swing widely like I thought it would - it was almost a gentle sideways 'smack' into the beam.
The after effects of the wrecking ball
The digger pulled the cable and down went the beam
A crowd watches from the Bridge of Remembrance
The digger reaches into the building
Watching a city transform before our very eyes



  • Floss
    6 years ago

    Amazing photos. We were there a couple of days ago and what struck me was the absolute silence of the crowd watching. A mixture of reverence, disbelief and grief. It was eerie… and so very sad.

  • Gerda
    6 years ago

    Pffff that is the building where I worked for many years. I loved my job as a teacher, met hundreds of students from all over the world. Had great colleagues, some of them became my friends and one week after the February earthquake
    was made redundant. I feel lost, sad and very frustrated. I miss my old life and know it won’t come back. Watching the building spill its guts is like losing my job again and again.

  • 6 years ago

    Hi Floss, yes the crowd was very silent. People don’t know how to react I think, so they go quiet.

  • catherine
    6 years ago

    Buildings go up in such an orderly and triumphant fashion, yet coming down they look ignominious and dejected.

  • 6 years ago

    Gerda, I really feel for you, I hope things come right soon, and your new life whatever direction that takes will be as fulfilling.

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