Built in 1866, Old St Paul’s is one of the finest examples of timber Gothic Revival architecture in the world. It is now cared for by Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga.


This unique building has stood steadfast for 153 years but sadly it didn’t escape the impact of the Kaikoura earthquake in November 2016. A project is underway to strengthen and future-proof Old St Paul’s, which will bring the building’s current seismic rating ~34% up to 90-100%.

In May 2019, HomePlan NZ performed a full 3D photographic survey of the building prior to the strengthening work beginning. Using a combination of infrared and laser scanning technology, Old St Paul’s was captured inside and out in staggering 134-megapixel high resolution imagery. It can be viewed via the following 3D walk through – click on the image to access it.

This ‘HomePlan’ 3D walk through uses the Matterport platform, giving users the ability to access it on any modern device or PC without any specialist software. The HomePlan can be shared by sending on the URL link via text, email or on social media. There is also the ability to restrict access to any HomePlan via a secure portal login.

Behind the scenes, power users can export high resolution 2D and 3D photos and can also work within the model to take and save key measurements.


With some additional post-production work, 2D PDF Floor Plans and photographic reflected ceiling plans have been produced.

This is particularly useful when no existing plans are available, but is an otherwise a way to present the floor plan ‘as built’ to compare to plans that are available.

Sitting behind the HomePlan model there are also two levels of point cloud data that can be utilized in 3D CAD architectural software.






The camera/scanner technology fires a tiny beam out in every direction, that bounces back off the surrounding surfaces to create a model of thousands (or millions!) of 3D reference points. When this data is collated on the Matterport platform you get a complete (albeit sparse) model that is tuned to the infrared capabilities of the Matterport technology. But it is still very useful as a basis on which to create, or to overlay on an existing 3D design in the specialist architectural software.

For Old St Paul’s we also utilized Leica technology to perform the exterior photographic survey. This is a laser scanner that achieves 99.9% accuracy. This data is integrated into the Matterport platform point cloud dataset, but we have also separately modeled the raw data files to provide a much more accurate point cloud data model of the exterior, should the architects or engineers require it.

“HomePlan has allowed us to carefully prepare for strengthening works at this beloved heritage building. The team did a lovely and very thorough job, and were a pleasure to deal with. We’re excited about what we might be able to do with this technology in future.” -Tamara Patten, Property Lead, Old St. Paul’s