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High profile Kiwi designer returns to Christchurch

11 September 2012

High profile Kiwi designer returns to Christchurch

Former Christchurch landscape architect Sam Martin is returning to live and work in his hometown.

He is coming back at the end of October, following 12 years in Britain where he has his own practice, Exterior Architecture Ltd.

Martin has a long list of credits to his name including the design of the garden area at Kiwi House in London for the 2012 Olympics, proposing an elevated bike network above London’s streets, and exterior landscaping design of the Battersea Power Station, which has just been bought by Malaysian owners.

Martin will head the new Christchurch office of public and private consultancy Environmental Challenge Limited, which also has offices in Auckland and Wellington. He will also run the company’s landscape architecture division nationally for the company.

Environmental Challenge provides a range of services relating to town planning, the environment, property, land, natural resources and stakeholder engagement. Director Laurence Sherriff said the company was delighted at Martin’s appointment.

“We’re excited to have Sam join our team and look forward to him leading the landscape division. He will join a multi-disciplinary team of consultants giving the company a strong presence in Christchurch.”

The talented Kiwi has visited Christchurch several times since last February and been involved in discussions around landscaping issues with the rebuild. He is part of an international team working on the transitional Cathedral Square; developed a scheme for the Avon River corridor; and is looking at pro bono work for the Coastal pathway.

“It’s such an exciting time in the city’s development and I want to lend my support from the experience I have gained in the UK, Europe, Russia and south-east Asia. There are huge opportunities to put 'place' at the heart of the rebuild.

“We need to focus our attention on the now and ensure the transitional city is at the core of what is done these next few years, not just the future city. It’s about ensuring that we leave a legacy that will inspire the future generations of people lucky enough to grow up in Christchurch so that knowledge of their environment is paramount and that they have a city comparable to any in the world,” Martin said.

“And personally I’m delighted that our children will grow up close to extended family and will have the opportunity to enjoy the wonderful freedom and resources that I experienced here.

“I believe that landscape is at the heart of the recovery to our city - to reveal its sense of place and to inform the location and connection of the new CBD to the city as a whole; the Avon River connecting Hagley Park to the sea is also integral to this process.”

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