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FESTA brings the inner city to life

FESTA brings the inner city to life with the spectacular LUXCITY
21 October 2012
Media Release: Festival of Transitional Architecture (FESTA)
For immediate release

FESTA - Festival of Transitional Architecture
20-28 October 2012

Last night, inner city Christchurch came alive in spectacular fashion with LUXCITY, the opening night event for the inaugural Festival of Transitional Architecture (FESTA).

From 6.30pm until midnight, thousands of Christchurch residents and visitors passed through the 16 light-based installations designed by architecture and design students from around the country. The atmosphere was a mixture of reflection and excitement.

Christchurch residents engaged with the memories of old buildings and gathering places lost, and at the same time were inspired by the new possibilities created by the students in conversation with their Christchurch-based partners. These included: Black Betty, Cassels Brewery, The Darkroom, Richard Till, White Elephant Trust, Volstead, Pure Pulp, Free Theatre, Fledge, Infinite Definite, The Twisted Hop, Beach Bar, Lyttelton Coffee Company, Southern Espresso Rescue and P.O.D.

The enthusiastic crowd spanned a wide spectrum of the Christchurch population. It was a truly unique way to reengage with the city and has the organisers excited about planning new events that engage positively with the transitional phase in the city’s immediate future.

FESTA director Jessica Halliday was delighted with the response: “The argument we have made, and that I think was in evidence last night, is that the rebuild of Christchurch can be led by creative and collaborative effort in a way that invites the public to participate. The people of Christchurch returned life to the vacant city centre in response to this unique urban atmosphere. They are eager to reinhabit the centre of their city. We can’t thank the students and their Christchurch-based partners enough for the hard work that has gone into making this event such an extraordinary experience.”

Several of the installations incorporated large-scale machinery, used over the past two years to demolish nearly 80 per cent of the central city. At LUXCITY it was put to creative use with cranes and other machinery donated by Smith Cranes and Construction, Leighs Construction and Ceres Environmental used to support and suspend the light elements.

FESTA received funding from Creative New Zealand, the Christchurch City Council (through its support of the Gap Filler Charitable Trust) and the Todd Foundation.

The nine-day Festival continues today with a presentation on transitional approaches to planning Christchurch by Masters of Architecture Students from The University of Auckland from 1.30-3pm at DL lecture theatre at CPIT. Then from 4-6pm, hear stories about Gap Filler’s Dance-O-Mat and learn three different styles of dance in a speed dancing session. Tomorrow, there is an opportunity to learn about the modular temporary outdoor furniture commissioned by the Christchurch City Council at 3pm outside Central Library Tuam at 121 Tuam Street. On Tuesday evening a tour of the AMI Stadium will be led by one of its architects, Chris Paterson of Populous from 5.30-6.30pm; book for the tour by emailing info@festa.org.nz

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