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Inaugural Festival Celebrating Christchurch And Its Architecture Kicks Off This Weekend: Open Christchurch, 15-16 May

A chance to visit with Mayor Lianne Dalziel in Christchurch’s civic heart at Te Hononga Christchurch Civic Buildings (a superb example of adaptive reuse) and a free architectural historian’s tour of Mona Vale are just two examples of how the public can celebrate our city’s rich architectural diversity right from the get-go as part of Open Christchurch this weekend.

St Andrew's Centennial Chapel. Image courtesy of St Andrew's.

When Open Christchurch, the festival of architectural excellence, kicks off on Saturday 15 May, a range of experiences and open buildings are on offer to the public to explore across the weekend until the last behind-the-scenes tour at the Isaac Theatre Royal on Sunday night.

With 46 open buildings, two guided walks and 40 activities that allow people to delve deeper into the spaces included in the programme, this festival invites residents and visitors alike to take a closer look at the spaces and buildings that are unique to Ōtautahi and to reconnect with their city.

Festival director, Jessica Halliday says, “Open Christchurch is a celebration of the city as it is today. Christchurch has changed a lot in the past 10 years and this festival is a way to rediscover the city – to create personal and collective connections with this place – by exploring its rich diversity of architecture and designed spaces.”

98% of the programme is free and the public is encouraged to turn up on the day to activities and open buildings unless advised otherwise on programme listings. There is something on offer for everyone, from hands-on architectural experiences for youngsters to hosted visits at handcrafted buildings.

Festival organisers see this as a time for Christchurch to celebrate its fabulous local architecture as well as the story of this place, as the buildings - with their styles, uses and materials - tell us about the values of Christchurch residents over time.

Te Pūtahi - Centre for architecture and city-making is the organisation behind the Open Christchurch festival, which will become an annual event in the city's calendar.

Visit www.openchch.nz for more information.


Jessica Halliday, festival director, is available for interview

A full range of images are available for use. Included here are low-res copies of the originals - please request high-res. Otherwise please caption and credit as follows:

Oxford Terrace Baptist (Andrew Barrie Lab, 2017). Image courtesy of Oxford Terrace Baptist.

Transitional Cathedral (Shigeru Ban and Warren & Mahoney, 2013). Image courtesy of Transitional Cathedral.

College House (Warren & Mahoney, 1964-67). Image courtesy of Warren & Mahoney

Nurses' Memorial Chapel (Collins & Harman, 1927). Image by Erica Austin-Knopp

Tūranga. Photo by Adam Mørk

Botanic Gardens Visitor Centre. Image by Erica Austin-Knopp.

Lyttelton Studio Monastery (Bull O'Sullivan Architecture, 2015). Image courtesy of Bull O'Sullivan Architecture.

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