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Chch's modernist architecture to be debated

Christchurch's modernist architecture to be debated

The Wizard of New Zealand will join other local luminaries to debate the modernist movement in architecture during Beca Heritage Week.

The Wizard (his legally recognised name) will team up with radio personality Ali Jones and David Sheppard from Sheppard and Rout Architects to debate in the affirmative that “Christchurch's modernist architecture is not heritage - it's a load of old concrete!”.

The opposing team will certainly be quick to take them to task with the debaters being noted Christchurch architect Peter Beaven, associate professor in art history at Canterbury University, Dr. Ian Lochhead, and Matt Arnold co-creator of the 'Christchurch Modern' website.

Beca Heritage Week is celebrating the post-war decades in Christchurch with the theme: Retrospective: Christchurch Life, Architecture and Design 1940s-1970s.

The Great Heritage Debate will be chaired by multiple award winning columnist and author of 15 books, Joe Bennett. Mr Bennett is a full-time freelance writer and his columns are syndicated in newspapers throughout New Zealand. He has lived in New Zealand since 1987.

The 2008 Debate will be held at the James Hay Theatre at the Town Hall on Tuesday October 21. It was initially to be held in the Limes Room but “we are expecting to draw such big crowds with the line up of debaters that we've had to move into a bigger venue,” says Lee-Mor Reichman, Events Development Advisor with the Christchurch City Council.

Apart from participating in the debate, Mr Beaven will also offer a tour of the Provincial Council Buildings including a lecture on the topic “My Modern 'Love Affair' with the Canterbury Provincial Council Buildings”.

Dr Lochhead, whose research interest includes History of New Zealand architecture; 19th and 20th century architecture; 18th Century French and British art and architecture, will also be one of the presenters of the “Constructing the Modern City” lectures during the Week to accompany the exhibition now showing at CoCA Gallery.

The Great Heritage Debate
James Hay Theatre, Christchurch TownHall,
Tuesday October 21 7.30 pm
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