Our House has come a long way since it was first built in 1895, as a Convent home for the Sisters of the Community of the Sacred Name. The original building was constructed in timber and corrugated iron and intended as a temporary solution until the more permanent neighbouring 1912 brick Convent was constructed. The timber buildings sat in the shadow of the brick Convent until the 2011 Earthquakes destroyed the latter. Following the demolition of the brick building, the timber Convent was revealed as having survived the earthquakes. The Order of Sisters no longer needed the building and gifted it to an organisation called ‘Home & Family’.
Home & Family is a private charitable trust that provides counselling and assistance to Families in need. Home & Family took on the major task of repairing, strengthening and repurposing the building. The building is a protected Heritage place, both nationally (HNZ) and locally (CCC). As a result, the project became a careful balance between the protection of existing heritage fabric and the functional needs of Home & Family.
The end result is a mix of public Café, secure Counselling rooms and a treasured original Chapel space.