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Art in the Dark


An illuminating new project is giving a fresh perspective on Christchurch’s world-renowned street art. Sustainable lighting business, Gen Green, and street art champions Watch This Space have joined forces with project managers Living Space and the help of a council grant to celebrate the city’s street art by darkness.

 

 

Compelled to provide the community a free and interesting reason to come into the city centre after dark Gen Green and Watch This Space successfully applied for a Christchurch City Council Enliven Places Project Fund and have also been supported by project management firm Living Space.

Gen Green co-founders Greg Dirkzwager and Brendan Stafford have supplied the lighting for the initiative and Watch This Space Urban Arts Trust’s Reuben Woods has helped select eleven artworks and artists to be featured.

Greg says, “We really want to be part of the effort to get people back into the city centre and help the businesses there while also creating something interesting for people to do after dark.”

Reuben, who did his PhD on the subject of Christchurch’s street art, is passionate about providing both the art and artists a platform to have their work discovered and accessed – and giving the public a new opportunity to engage with the form.

He says the art and initiative has taken on a parallel meaning as attention turns to support our communities through the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The art has a lot of meaning and to many people in Christchurch as it represents the city during its toughest times.

“Some of the works talk about rebuilding and the restoration of Christchurch, so it’s important for us to do something now – and that’s lighting it up.”

Brendan says the installation process, hindered slightly by some springtime rain, was well thought out to illuminate certain parts of the art works, while also protecting from potential damage. It also involved extensive co-ordination with building owners to obtain access.

The eleven artworks chosen can be viewed on a map at www.watchthisspace.org.nz/#map and includes favourites like Askew on Gloucester Street, Kevin Ledo’s Whero O Te Rangi Bailey at the Crowne Plaza, Rone at Cathedral Square, and Erika Pearce at Allen St.


 

The architecture of transportation hubs: WSP Architecture


It’s never been so important to attract and entertain visitors in our New Zealand towns and cities.

By Matt Sloper, Architect at WSP Architecture

A common problem faced by visitors and locals alike is access to transportation infrastructure.

Nationwide, councils are now looking to explore infrastructure developments designed to transform town centres, eliminating congestion issues, improving accessibility, providing new public amenity spaces and enhancing the visitor experience.

The key design driver for a transportation hub is a strong urban focus, resulting in high quality solutions that sit sympathetically within the urban context, address the surrounding street frontages, are inviting and safe, allow easy permeability through the site, provide added community amenity, and are well integrated with the surrounding neighbourhood.

Where natural beauty surrounds the sites; an appropriate design response is for the built insertions to be complementary with, but subservient to, the broader natural environment.

Texture, light, shade, materiality and colour are carefully considered to give the exteriors a sculptural quality, and one which adds interest whilst also reducing the overall visual impact.

These hubs service mixed transportation modes, including built-in capacity to accommodate greater numbers of electric vehicles in future.

Transportation hubs should embody connections with local culture and history, creating a distinctly local flavour that speaks of its place and reinforces the destination’s reputation as a meeting place and social and economic centre.

Although responding to a pragmatic functional need they make a positive contribution to the character and quality of New Zealand towns and cities for all to enjoy.


 

The latest reborn beauty: Stockman Group


An alluring staircase entrance with warm heritage colours and brass treads leads past a dazzling chandelier to the bespoke new office spaces of Ruby Black.

 

 

The latest reborn beauty from Stockman Group at 201 High Street melds cherished history with perfect contemporary function.

This rebuild was a passion of two halves.

The original Ruby building has become contemporary-themed office spaces on two levels, with the ground floor poised for retail or hospitality.

Adjoined, is the reconstructed former Victoria Black building which parades the original façade of two beautiful arched windows, above Kilt fashion store.

For Director Shaun Stockman, reinstating the iconic window features was a rewarding labour of love, and cash injection.

Now fully double-glazed and extensively repaired, the landmark lights up the Salt District by night.

The project started February last year, with Shaun adding the final touches during lockdown.

Now of the nine affordable office spaces from 26 to 60sqm, five remain for tenure.

All include practical desk configurations, separate meeting spaces, and full kitchens, including wine racks and dishwashers.

Some of the black and white chic offices have expansive windows and high-raked plywood ceilings, two with spacious balconies above High Street.

A southside office has wide vistas to the hills. Some may prefer a coveted arch-window view, with a juxtaposition of modern and yesteryear detailing, such as stamped-tin ceilings.

Every office has its own personality.

And no corners have been cut here, in fact every corner exudes character. Gold cornices, chandeliers, tropical Victoriana wallpaper and glossy black paint work embellish the vestibules.

Even the shower room has Spanish tiling.

The Victoria Room is a boardroom of grandeur, complete with audio-visual screen. It feels comfortably warm here, even though high ceilings and doorways abound.

“People are not quite sure if it’s an old building or new,” he says. But this was Shaun’s intention.

“It’s a fantastic location, especially for young staff, amongst bars and cafés. We also offer parking nearby for $30pw.”

If staff numbers fluctuate, he can always negotiate a larger or smaller-sized office from his unique Above Your Space CBD portfolio.

Ruby Black is a rare, enviable work-home that will be very hard to leave.

Visit the website below or phone Anna Morawiec on 022 059 7620.


 

Central city streets get $13.3m upgrade


Drawing the masses into the central city has long been the mandate of the agencies tasked with the city’s rejuvenation, with creating a vibrant, thriving central city at the very heart of this directive.

 

PHOTO: CCC NEWSLINE

 

As such, we’ve seen ongoing investment into both the form and function of this central space.

Next on the infrastructural list is Victoria Street and Hereford Street, between Oxford Terrace and Manchester Street, which are set to receive a $13.3 million upgrade.

Approved by Christchurch City Council last year following consultation with local property owners, businesses and the wider community, the upgrade will address the damage caused by the earthquakes and the subsequent demolition work.

“Hereford Street is in a substandard condition and needs to be reconstructed to bring it up to a standard that supports the vitality of the central city,” Council Transport Planning and Delivery Manager Lynette Ellis says.

“Most businesses have indicated they would like the work done as soon as possible so we’ve decided to start the project earlier than originally planned.”

Hereford Street’s badly damaged footpaths will be replaced with new paved footpaths, with extra space provided for street furniture and planters for trees. Spaces will also be provided at nights for ride share services and taxis servicing the bars and restaurants along Oxford Terrace and Hereford Street.

The Council is also taking the opportunity to renew the water main along Hereford Street, which is coming towards the end of its life, and to repair the storm water culvert under the northern footpath.

Contractor Fulton Hogan has already begun some preliminary work along Hereford Street and expects to get fully under way on the project in the next week or two.

Lynette says they will be working in multiple locations along Hereford Street at the same time in order to progress the project as quickly as possible.

“It is estimated the upgrade of Hereford Street will be completed by early 2021 but we are exploring options to fast-track the completion.”

Victoria Street Upgrade

Fulton Hogan is also reconstructing Victoria Street; replacing dilapidated storm water drains, kerb and channel, footpaths, road surface and street lighting, and improving the street’s appearance through the addition of more trees and landscaping.

Widened footpaths, coloured surfacing, cycle lane markings, raised platforms and traffic calming measures are also going to be added to Victoria Street to create better definition for road users and a safer environment for pedestrians and cyclists.

“We did consider doing the work on Victoria Street in stages but the feedback we’ve had from the local property owners and businesses is that they would prefer the work to be all tackled at once,” Lynette says.

“As a consequence, work is now happening all the way along Victoria Street – on both sides of the road. It is disruptive but we are trying to get the project done as quickly as possible.”

Traffic on Victoria Street is restricted to one-way only between Bealey Avenue and Kilmore Street.

On street parking is currently available between Dorset Street and Corcovado, while two hours free parking is available on Peterborough Street, opposite Christchurch Casino.


 

Recreating a coffee icon


Bink Bowler started making the coffee we have all come to love at the sprightly age of 13 and at age 19, 10 years ago, he and some other coffee guys founded Memphis Belle Coffee House in Wellington.

 

 

It became iconic, gaining a cult following in the capital. Bink learnt so much about the coffee business, he decided to take that knowledge to the next level and open the Black and White Coffee Cartel which permeates Christchurch.

When it got to five cafés in the space of three or so years, Bink got what he dreamed of, a bigger coffee company heading in the right direction and he thought to himself, ‘What’s this all about? Why am I doing this?’

Ending up spending much of his time at a computer, he’d lost what he really loved about coffee; people. When it got to 10 shops he decided to step out of the Managing Director role and seek what made him happy, with the blessing of his partners at Black and White.

When Bink heard Memphis Belle was closing in 2019, he decided he would recreate the vision and set about creating a grown up version of Belle that represents the Bink of today, just as the renowned coffee house did 10 years ago.

So, the evolution has come full circle, with a return to Belle coffee house on the corner of New Regent and Armagh Streets.

Memphis Belle never left Bink’s heart nor did his faith in Christchurch.

After working in the hard yards in Wellington he’s seen the bright future that is central Christchurch and in relaunching, he rediscovered quality of life.

With a wealth of experience, a new spark in his heart and passion for a great coffee house, Bink has made his triumphant return with Belle.

Even though coffee houses have changed since Memphis Belle started a decade ago, good culture and great service haven’t.

With its unique vibrant style and food to tempt even the fussiest breakfast gourmet with a stunning creamy mushrooms on toast, classic eggs benedict and if you’re really hungry, the bigger breakfast, loaded nachos or just a bowl of fries.

With a full kitchen there’s a tasty treat for almost everyone.

Belle has returned in style with great coffee.

Classics are always in style and Belle is all about doing the basics and doing them exceptionally well.

This is a place that is about good people, good coffee, good food and a whole lotta charm!

Belle operates with gratitude toward all of those who were involved in the original Memphis Belle story.

It’s just a little bit of Wellington in the Garden City, but still quintessential Christchurch.

Check it out for yourself from 7am to 4pm Monday to Friday, and 8:30am to 4:30pm Saturday and Sunday in the heart of the central city.

 


 

Must-see exhibition


Giant birds and ancient crocodiles are taking over Canterbury Museum these holidays in an exhibition that has to be seen to be believed.

 

Canterbury Museum curators Dr Paul Scofield and Dr Vanesa De Pietri with a life-size model of Mannering’s Penguin, a 1.2 metre penguin that lived around 62 million years ago.

 

Ancient New Zealand: Squawkzilla and the Giants is the result of more than 20 years of collaborative research by scientists working in Central Otago and North Canterbury, to uncover the animals that once roamed our land.

One of the most exciting discoveries was a metre-tall parrot Heracles Inexpectatus – nicknamed Squawkzilla by scientists – which lived in New Zealand about 20 million years ago.

The bones of Squawkzilla, and a life-size model, have been put together for the exhibition, so visitors can now come face-to-face with our past in never-before-seen detail.

Also on display are giant penguins that inhabited the oceans near what is now Waipara more than 60 million years ago. At a Central Otago site with fossils from around 20 million years ago, they uncovered many different types of birds that have never been seen in New Zealand before; bats that walked along the forest floor as well as crocodiles and turtles.

The exhibition runs from 13 December 2019 to 12 July 2020.

“It will be a summer blockbuster,” Museum Director Anthony Wright says.

“We think visitors will be blown away when they see the life-size models of the penguins, the parrot and the crocodile. While the exhibition will be entertaining, it’s grounded in science and we hope people will come away having learnt a little more about the ancient past of Aotearoa New Zealand.


 

The Influencers: Lianne Dalziel


I love the fact it’s 2020! When applied to eyesight, 20/20 refers to clarity of vision and that is what I am sure the year 2020 will deliver to our city and region. I am hugely optimistic for what this year holds.

 

Christchurch Mayor

 

Not only will we continue to see the benefits of private and public investment in our city, we will see major projects fully completed and others underway.

Christchurch’s Convention Centre, Te Pae, will open in 2020 and what a difference that will make for the region as a whole.

When I think of the conferences we will be hosting, I don’t just think about the delegates attending, I think of the extra days that they pack in on either side of the conference, the family they might bring along for the ride, or bring back after the conference when they’ve had a taste of what the region has to offer.

And what about the American Airlines announcement that will connect North America and our region with Los Angeles to Christchurch direct flights three days a week?

I am so grateful we have such an active airport company that continues to invest in building international connectivity.

We will see the Metro Sports Facility starting to rise from the ground this year, and this will bring huge benefits, especially to the accommodation sector, due to the national events that will be held there.

The signs of visible progress we will see this year will really help to restore confidence in what is the heart and soul of our city.


 

Summer of discovery in Otautahi Christchurch


Our urban city centre is becoming a vibrant, interesting place. As you prepare for the summer break, architect Craig South, of Allfrey + South, recommends including Christchurch in your plans.

If you haven’t visited the central city for a while, I’d suggest making some time over summer to go and explore it. You’ll find a lot has changed for the better, with so many new buildings and developments up and running.

A good starting point is Tūranga, the city’s new main public library. Tūranga is the largest public library in the South Island, so there is plenty to see and do just in this building alone.

Our practice recently hosted one of our social forums on architecture (ArchiChat) there at Auaha Hīhī (Spark Place), a ground-floor meeting space.

This world-class facility is truly multi-purpose, serving not just as an information hub, but also as a fit-for-purpose centre of engagement and interaction.

Christchurch’s new waterfront is flourishing. The City Promenade – part of Te Papa Ōtakaro/Avon River Precinct – opened just over a year ago, running along Oxford Terrace.

If you do nothing else this summer, do take a stroll along this well-paved riverside walk that passes by the Canterbury Earthquake Memorial, the Bridge of Remembrance, Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre (scheduled to open in October 2020) and Victoria Square to the Margaret Mahy Family Playground.

Along the way, you can stop and visit Christchurch’s hospitality hotspots at The Terrace or the bustling new Riverside Market development that boasts an indoor farmers market, linked with boutique shops, restaurants, cafés and bars.

The market’s lively mix of local growers and small traders makes this place a real stand-out. It’s on an intimate scale that people just love and it certainly makes a change from the suburban malls.

It’s exciting to see Christchurch evolving into an innovative, liveable city that includes these sorts of hubs or small communities of businesses offering something different to the big chain retail approach.

The Welder complex on Welles Street, with a health and wellbeing focus, is another great example of this.

You’ll also find a dash of character in the SALT district, home to some cool heritage buildings and alternative eateries such as Little High Eatery. The inner city is now generally well set-up for shopping, enlivened by Melbourne-style laneways.

Of course, the Arts Centre, Christchurch Art Gallery and Canterbury Museum are other familiar drawcards, along with the Christchurch Botanic Gardens.

Not everything has happened as quickly as hoped in the city. Yet at least the end is in sight for some big projects, such as Te Pae and the new Metro Sports Facility (due to be finished in late 2021). Stabilisation work is soon to begin on Christ Church Cathedral and the council plans to put an investment case to Cabinet for Christchurch’s new stadium by Christmas.

There is much else to be excited about, such as the planned new Court Theatre in the city’s performing arts precinct. While we wait, there’s a nearby colony of black-billed gulls, tarāpuka, in the flooded foundations of the former PWC building site providing quite a show.

If you’re here over summer with family, I recommend adding it to your itinerary of things to see and do in Christchurch! www.allso.co.nz


 

Archibalds Motors

A high-performance rebuild: Archibalds Motors


One of the most highly respected vehicle brands globally, Porsche has long represented luxury in its high-performance sports cars.

 

Archibalds Motors

 

So not surprising then that Archibalds Motors would seek to capture these same elements in its new Porsche showroom in the city, the delivery of which was tasked to award-winning Map Architects and construction company Hanham & Philp.They have definitely delivered on that. The luxury vehicles that come under the Porsche marquee are certainly at home in their new flagship dealership on the corner of Tuam and Antigua Streets, where the floor space covers some 1500 square metres and is framed by steel and floor to ceiling glass.

Plans for the new development – which opened in November – have been on the drawing board for 10 years, with the post-quake need to rebuild its site and the area around it being rezoned as the Health Precinct ramping up a long-held vision for an innovative mixed-use building. Today the exceptional two-level high curved façade stands just 200 metres from where Alex Archibald founded his family’s Christchurch motor company a century ago.

 

Topped with three floors of medical tenancies, including the Christchurch Clinical Studies Trust on the top floor, the building covers a total of some 6700 square metres.  Much like the top of the range vehicles are right at home in the new surroundings, the exceptional space of the new Archibalds Porsche showroom is right at home in the rebuilding city. After all, what better fit than a world-leading marquee in a world-leading CBD?

 



 

What’s in that building?

What’s in that building?


The CBD is buzzing. Even two years ago that could not be said with confidence and the fear was it may never be said again. But those fears are officially unfounded.

 

What’s in that building?

 

Sure, there are some large holes to still be filled, and a few spaces and broken facades to be decided on and reinvigorated. And, while some of the city’s most iconic buildings sit in ruin with many gone forever, all but the most pessimistic can take heart that some have been and are being restored, with some beautiful new buildings being erected to replace them.

In October, Turanga officially opened; five floors of knowledge, cutting edge digital technology, modern design features and displays of art and culture. The bus interchange on Colombo Street has already become an important feature of the new cityscape. Stylish and user friendly, as the city has come alive around it, it has become the central hub it was intended to be.

As more retail outlets, cafes, restaurants, and nightlife venues open, and with some very high profile projects scheduled to open in the next few years, the already buzzing city is set to erupt! With so many changes, however, navigating the city can be tricky. If you venture into The Crossing – a “diverse yet intimate, one hectare precinct of heritage facades… enticing laneways and open public spaces” and, of course, shops, shops and more shops – be sure to take some breadcrumbs because getting lost is a real possibility. It is however, a pretty nice place to be lost in for a couple of hours.

 

Christchurch

Plymouth Lane is a retail space, conveniently located under a multi-storey parking building with a huge cycle lock-up area and individual lockers. At the river end of Cashel Street there are cafés and eateries, including a Black & White Coffee Cartel, a Metromart and The General Store, popular with tourists and locals, for gifts and homewares.

If you have driven or walked along any of the main city routes and wondered what is in that shiny new building, you are not alone. Naming rights offers some indication, but more often than not, there are gems inside that may not be so obvious.
For example, Grant Thornton House on Oxford Terrace is not only the striking new home of the global accounting giant, it also houses Amaterrace Teppanyaki Japanese Steak House and, on the street level, the newly opened (early Jan) Chiwahwah Mexican Cantina and Bar.

Across the river is 93 Cambridge Terrace, a four-storey black-glass, nondescript building called Iwikau. Inside are Aurecon and EY. On the ground floor, West End Pharmacy, West End Expressmart, and West End Stories Café. But Iwikau’s surprise lies on the opposite side of the building, invisible from the busy thoroughfare. It is Ngā Mara a Te Wera, The Gardens of Te Wera.

Te Wera was a Ngāi Tahu warrior chief and had a long association with the area that came also to be occupied by the King Edward Barracks. It is a beautiful, quiet, shared seating space that respects its deep Maori and European histories. You can read more about it on the storyboard in the garden.