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International interest in City design challenge


Wednesday 29 June 2011


International interest in City design challenge

Architects and designers from the UK, Singapore, Australia and around New Zealand have shown interest in the 48 Hour Design Challenge being held this weekend to redesign parts of the Central City.

The Christchurch City Council is running the event at the School of Landscape Architecture, Lincoln University, with 15 teams of industry representatives registered.

Central City Plan Project Sponsor Michael Theelen says this will be a testing ground for the draft Plan and an opportunity to gather ideas from the professional design community.

“We’re hoping to get some good input from the design and architecture industry – both locally and internationally.

“A group of architects from the UK heard about the Challenge on Monday and made every effort to be in Christchurch by this Friday, but unfortunately with ash clouds and such a short timeframe they won’t make it. However another participant is on his way from the UK and will be here on Friday.

“We also have professionals from Singapore and a few from Opus Australia coming out for the Challenge. It’s great to have this level of support which shows Christchurch is still top of mind overseas.”

Mr Theelen says each team will choose one of five undisclosed sites within the Central City at random and will have just 48 hours to develop unique and inspiring concepts for that area.

“We’re really looking for the teams to ‘wow’ us. This is a great opportunity for us to pull knowledge and experience from a range of professionals with the collaborative goal of improving the future of our Central City.

“While this is a competition with attractive prizes, the overall goal is for teams to generate the best possible outcome for the City.”

Mr Theelen says site locations have been a hot topic with participants eager to know what they will be working on but says, “we won’t be disclosing these sites until the teams are handed their briefs on Friday”.

Eight judges have been confirmed for the Challenge including noted architect Andrew Patterson, New Zealand’s only architect to be internationally recognised for Sustainable Innovation in Architecture. Other judges include Alex Cutler, CEO of the New Zealand Green Building Council, and Ralph Johns, manager of the Isthmus Studio in Wellington, who gained his Masters of Landscape Architecture from Sheffield University, UK.

Each project will be judged based on criteria developed by the Central City Plan team, relating to the incorporation of public space, green building elements, seismic stability and economic feasibility.


- ENDS -

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