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From the Resene News – issue 2/2007

Rolling on - Crown Roller Mills building

Starting life as a three storey building with a platform for a fourth storey, the Crown Roller Mills building in Princes Street, Dunedin was purpose built in 1867 using pressed bricks and Oamaru stone to house Anderson and Mouat's steam-driven flour mill. This is believed to be one of the first, if not the first, Dunedin city building to incorporate Oamaru stone. In 1878 the mill was extended and later in 1890 the fifth floor was added while the millstones were replaced with steel rollers. 1897 was the first of many further changes in ownership, until Goodman Fielder who owned the mill in 1997 moved the last production away to Timaru and Christchurch.

Crown Roller Mills building

Following many years of loyal service to a host of owners and a period of decline following the 1997 closure, the mill has been rescued from neglect and, over a period of three and a half years, transformed into premium apartments alongside restaurant dining. The Historic Places Trust category 1 status associated with the distinctive building means that the mill's façade is protected by Dunedin City Council bylaws and that the Historic Places Trust must be involved with all refurbishments. Retaining the original building aesthetic has earned the development a big tick of approval from the Historic Places Trust. The redevelopment costing over $3.5 million included building improvements to meet new earthquake and acoustic standards.

A once 15m x 12m chimney space is now an atrium with balconies, stairs and a lift. Extensive wrought iron work throughout the development is comprised of imported Italian metal and a painstaking 18 months of local crafting by hand to form each individual component. Resene X-200 weathertight membrane was specified to protect the quadruple brick construction, while copious litres of Resene Membrane Roofing Primer were employed to provide adhesion to the old bitumen based waterproof coating. Steel balustrades, railings and steel sash windows were primed with Resene Rust-Arrest to minimise rust development followed by topcoats of Resene Super Gloss enamel black.

The internal areas used as a flour mill enjoyed extra special attention and were sealed in Resene Sureseal to bind back decades of flour ingress into the old Oregon timbers. Environmental Choice approved products adorn the rest of the interior with Resene Broadwall Waterborne Wallboard Sealer finished in topcoats of Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen waterborne enamel or Resene Zylone Sheen low sheen acrylic joined by doors and trim in Resene Lustacryl semi-gloss waterborne enamel.

Crown Roller Mills building   Crown Roller Mills building
Crown Roller Mills building   Crown Roller Mills building
Crown Roller Mills building

Multitasking in apartment style living and relaxing dining, the finished complex also assists budding artists giving them a forum to display their works in hospitality areas on a rotational basis. This decorative touch is joined by artefacts and photos remembering the mill's previous work life.

Gifted a new lease of life and winner of the HANZ Otago Outstanding Development Of The Year Award, this mill looks set to keep on rolling on.

Architectural Designer: David Stringer
Contractors: LFT Construction Ltd
Owner: Ian Lisk, LFT Group Ltd
Resene: Nelson Dickson, Dunedin Branch Manager


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