The buildings consist of single and two level brick buildings with unique archtiectural elements such as barrel shaped roofs and decorative brickwork elements. The buildings were purchased by Christchurch Boys' High School in 1926 when they relocated to the surrounding site.
The buildings suffered significant structural damage during the Canterbury earthquakes and refurbishment, structural strengthening and repairs were completed in 2017.
The structural strengthening consisted of the installation of steel columns, steel ‘strong-back’ beams and insitu concrete skin walls to tie the historic brickwork together, whilst displaying as much of the historic fabric as possible. New plywood ceiling diaphragms were installed and hidden by architectural linings and the decorative brickwork elements were carefully repaired and repointed.
The foundations of the Deans Farm Buildings required significant strengthening due to the risk of lateral spread towards the Ilam Stream and due to the damaged nature of the superstructure careful ‘hit and miss’ underpinning was required to allow construction of the reinforced concrete raft slabs within the buildings.