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Student’s Godley House design plan

Third year Architectural Studies student Sarah Leech with her plan for rebuilding the historic Godley House, circa 1880, which was demolished after suffering severe earthquake damage.

Student’s Godley House design plan

A range of innovative architectural projects created by the next generation of Christchurch’s talented designers are now on display at CPIT.

EXIT, a showcase of CPIT’s third year Architectural Studies students’ work, opens today on campus as part of the Creative Festival. The free exhibition features conceptual drawings, computer-aided design, installations, furniture prototypes and models.

Many of the students whose work is featured in the exhibition may go on to work in the rebuild of the city.

One of those showcasing her work, third year student Sarah Leech, has taken on the task of how to rebuild the historic Godley House, circa 1880, which was demolished after suffering severe earthquake damage.

Leech, 20, lives in the Banks Peninsula area and says she wanted to work on a project that had “real personal meaning”.

“Living over there I know that the building has a prominent place in the community and it is something that really needs to be rebuilt respectfully.”

Her design features the original dimensions of Godley House and manages to keep some of the traditional aesthetic of the historic home. It also showcases the foundations of the original Godley House, with glass panels in the floor showing through to the foundations below.

“I wanted to keep as much of the history of the building as possible. I wanted people to look down and see that the original foundations were undamaged,” Leech says.

“I wanted to make it a real community space, with a restaurant, rather than just a home.”

School of Architectural Studies tutor Belfiore Bologna says post-earthquake rebuild solutions are a “hot topic” among the 50 third year architecture students this year.

“Everything at the moment comes back to the earthquakes, both in terms of design and structure. It’s almost unavoidable.”

Other quake-related designs on display at EXIT include a “community hub” inside an old warehouse, with spaces for small businesses, and an alternative version of Christchurch’s EPIC technology hub.

Bologna says the “highly talented” students have created a “wide range of concepts” for their final projects.

“They all have different interests and there’s a lot of creativity on display.”

As well as being visually stunning, Bologna says all the designs featured were feasible, as students had liaised with structural engineers to learn about the science behind architecture.

“They can’t just have the creativity without the structural knowledge to back that up. CPIT is very strong on teaching our students the knowledge to make their concepts something practical that could be built.”

The event is running from Tuesday November 26 until Sunday December 1 at the CPSA Building.


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