Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 

Designing the Former CTV Building Memorial Site

5 April 2018

Designing the Former CTV Building Memorial Site in Christchurch

The site of the former CTV building on the corner of Cashel and Madras streets is one of the most significant reminders of the February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch. The collapse of the building in the quake resulted in the loss of 115 lives, with many more injured.

Designing a tribute fitting to the site was a highly sensitive process. The design team from Jasmax worked for crown development company, Ōtākaro Limited, to deliver a design that played tribute to the gravity and sadness of the space but also aimed to provide a little lightness and hope.

From the beginning the families and other stakeholders were a crucial part of the design process.

Landscape architect, Rob Lawry, from the Christchurch office, was the project lead. He says: “Jasmax came to this project when there was an overall concept in place and then we added to it. The key question we were working with was - Does this serve the wishes of the families? This is not an earthquake memorial as such, that formal site exists down at the official memorial wall on the Avon River. This is an intimate space, a site of memory.”

The design grew out of the building foundations.

“The slab was a key driver in the design. It was to remain in place as a remnant, a memory. The slab was not a flat piece of concrete, it has various levels, cracks and visible ground beams. We filled them with planting.”

The covering and uncovering of the slab was to provide choice to people entering the site.

“It can be confronting, so we designed it in such a way that you can walk off Cashel St, across the grass that is the former carparks, rinse your hands in the water feature, and walk out across the bridge, all without touching the slab if you so choose.”

Another key component in the design of the site was the idea of youthfulness. Families expressed a wish that as so many who lost their lives were young, the site would be a place that reflected that. Alongside the site’s four surviving trees, there are new cherry blossom and kowhai trees and a large green lawn.

“It is designed to be organic,” says Rob. “We wanted the space to be open ended in the way people interact with it. There is a perforated steel wall where people have come and laid tributes, and a plinth, but we have left it deliberately inviting to place tribute in other areas. It’s not prescriptive.”

The work was completed on a tight timeframe of eight months, with Rob on site almost daily during the construction process. The contractors were City Care and JFC. Despite the time pressure, Rob says it was one of the smoothest projects he’s worked on.

“Everyone understood the sensitivity of the area. We all wanted to create something special.”

The space was opened with a blessing on 21st February, 2018, on the eve of the seven-year anniversary of the earthquakes. In order to come full circle and acknowledge those that had lost loved ones, some areas were left unplanted, and the families were invited to put the final plants in the ground.

“One family member had bought along her own tree, a Southern Rata. Her mother was one of the three that were never recovered from the site. We quickly shuffled other plants around so we could give her future forest giant enough space to grow to its fullest potential.”

Rob remembers being evacuated out of the old Jasmax building in Hereford St, standing in Latimer Square, and looking south to the CTV building on the day of the quakes. He says the feedback received so far has been “overwhelmingly positive.”

The plant on the site will now grow into the evolving city, where the CTV memorial site will sit in the midst of Christchurch’s new residential design.

“The great thing about this is that it’s a living design. The plantings will grow and it will get better and better. Eventually, it will be infolded into the residential space of the East Frame. Our aim is that this is functional as a pocket park, yet is always respectful. It will always be an important piece of our city.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Thompson+ Clark, And Russia’s FIFA World Cup

Daily, the coalition government keeps running into examples of the toxic legacy left behind by National – and just as regularly, even the simple fixes are proving stubbornly difficult to enact. Take the case of the security firm Thompson + Clark, which has been employed – time and again - by state agencies over the past decade, to spy on (and provide security against) ordinary New Zealanders engaged in lawful forms of protest. More>>

 

HiveMind: Fair Enough? How Should New Zealanders Be Taxed?

Have Your Say! Scoop and PEP invite you to share your issues, ideas and perspectives on the NZ tax system with other New Zealanders using Scoop’s HiveMind tool. This Tax HiveMind is intended to complement and feed into the review being run by the Government-appointed Tax Working Group (TWG), which is looking at the fairness, balance and structure of the tax system with a 10-year time horizon. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The GCSB’s Security Hang-Up With Russia

So our GCSB has chimed in, alongside its British, Australian and US allies, with warnings about a “fresh wave” of Russian cyber attacks, although the warning has been curiously framed. More>>

ALSO:

PM's Europe Trip: CHOGM & Bilateral Meetings

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is in urope for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London and meetings with counterparts in Paris and Berlin. More>>

ALSO:

Hit And Run: AG Gives Approval For Inquiry

Attorney-General David Parker has today announced a Government Inquiry will be held into Operation Burnham and related events. The operation undertaken in Tirgiran Valley, Afghanistan, ... More>>

ALSO:

Addressing Climate Change: No New Offshore Exploration Permits

The Coalition Government is taking an important step to address climate change and create a clean, green and sustainable future for New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. More>>

ALSO:

Road Safety Summit: Actions To Improve Identified

The Local Government Road Safety Summit held last week identified actions that will lead to lasting changes to road safety in New Zealand, says Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages