Chch rebuild comp gets world attention
Mon, 15 Oct 2012 6:30p.m.
By Jessica Rowe
Grand Designs television host Kevin McCloud will judge an international competition to design one of Christchurch’s first major housing rebuilds.
The project's just three blocks from The Square, and the dity douncil hopes it'll pave the way for the re-population of the CBD.
The empty hectare of inner city land is a blank canvas for Christchurch architects Richard Hayman and Bernadette Muir, who've already started sketching their urban village.
“As a designer it really is career-defining, and it's nice to put forward ideas and start to heal the town,” says Mr Hayman.
Ms Muir says there is an opportunity to create something unique.
“I think people will be able to create a lifestyle that is quite unique in the country and internationally," she says. "It will be on the doorstep of a sustainable innovative green city with fantastic public spaces."
Building and Construction Minister Maurice Williamson says there’s plenty of overseas interest in the complex, which will have at least 50 individual houses.
One-hundred-and-twenty teams made up of architects, engineers and developers have already registered interest from around the world, and they've been asked to come up with a design for the complex – right on the edge of the city green belt.
“We won't be asking for payments for the land and the site until after it is ready to be occupied and a revenue stream’s coming, so it takes the financial burden,” says Mr Williamson.
Seven judges will be on the design panel, including Grand Designs host Kevin McCloud.
Christchurch youth leader, 16-year-old Zea Harman, is also on the panel and says the city has a rare chance to do something new.
“It's a one-of-a-kind opportunity. It's not very often that you get to have a clean slate and build a new city, so we could be world leaders in sustainable architecture.”
The teams will have three months to come up with an innovative design for the 10,000 square metre site. The winner will be announced in August next year, and construction will begin shortly after.
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