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Russley International Colosseum Project Announced

Wednesday 29 June 2005

Russley International Colosseum Project Announced

A Christchurch investment company has confirmed that it is investigating the development of a multi-million dollar international hotel and conference facility at the Russley Golf Course.

The Russley International Colosseum development is estimated to be $50 million. The complex would be on land in the plantation between the 8th and 13th holes and would be immersed into the landscape.

Invicta Investments and the Russley Golf Club are in consultation as the development proposal is refined for the resource consent process.

Key features include: * A unique architectural design [see attached drawings and specifications] * 5 star hotel * 3 levels plus underground for arrivals and parking for more than 280 cars * 260 spacious climate-controlled accommodation rooms * A fine dining restaurant, 2 cafes, lounge bar and cocktail bar * Extensive conference facilities including a ballroom

“This would be the first newly built international hotel of this size in Christchurch since the Crowne Plaza was developed more than 20 years ago. More than a million visitors pour into Christchurch and Canterbury per annum, and the demand is there for such an iconic complex as is being proposed. Guest nights in Christchurch to the year ended March 2005 show double the national percentage growth ­ 10.1%,” says Invicta Investments Director Richard Hunter.

“This site is unique and the close proximity to the city and Christchurch International Airport will appeal to the key targets audiences ­ international and domestic visitors, stopover guests, corporate companies and of course golf tournament players and enthusiasts.”

The vision for the architectural design has come from Thom Craig and Kerry Mason of MAP. [See attached backgrounder]

“This is an incredible opportunity and could be another major boost for tourism in Christchurch. This development, along with the ongoing improvements to the parklands course, could firmly establish Russley as one of New Zealand’s premier complexes. Furthermore, the development will attract visitors and the corporate market with its range of facilities from the health spa to the ballroom to the conference venues,” concludes Richard Hunter.

Russley International Colosseum ­ Architect’s Design Statement

The proposed three-storey Russley International Colosseum provides the perfect synergy between a luxury five star international hotel, with health spa and an established world-renowned golf course facility.

The proposed 260-room hotel, with its 280 underground car parks, is sensitively located in a cluster of tall pines at the north/east part of the golf course, and utilises Wairakei Road as its main vehicular entry point. The existing service node off Russley Road provides all service/delivery/transport access to the new building.

The design of the hotel has been developed at both a macro (Urban) and micro (Local) scale, with its sensuous curved form providing an iconic statement (branding) when viewed from both the sky and earth.

The building is seen as a comprehensive development contained in a series of layered forms and skins that uses the existing established golfing’ landscape as the underpinning design generator to totally blend the proposed development into its surroundings.

The focal point of the design is the 40m in diameter central circular court or Œopen air’ atrium, which is the pivotal node of the design and is used as a metaphor for the existing playing surfaces, greens and holes. This metaphor is continued along the exterior faces of the wings containing the hotel rooms, where a fine woven sculptural mesh is attached to the façade further’ dematerialising its mass and form and generating a homogenized build and natural landscape. The existing layer of surrounding pines trees completes the building’s integration with the landscape.

The topography of the site also provides the strategy for the car parking facility which is partially buried into ground below the bedroom wings and is totally concealed from the surrounding fairways and greens through the use of gently sloping grass berms. The central atrium is also the main arrival space to the hotel and originates from this car parking level thus completing the new developments intimate relationship with this important Christchurch gateway site.

All of the restaurants, bars, conference facilities, breakout spaces etc are focused out onto this enclosed oasis, allowing the players and golf club members a continued discreet and private playing environment. Controlled views out of this timber shuttered circular accommodation and circulation space captures distance views of the Southern Alps and Port Hills, providing hotel guests with unique framed views of the larger surrounding Canterbury landscape.

The hotel rooms are all fully air-conditioned and sealed with acoustically treated windows completing and acknowledging the buildings relationship to the surrounding build fabric and more importantly its shared and respectful relationship with the Russley golfing community.


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