Christchurch to shape the next century

Christchurch placed in the top 10 global cities to watch.

THE HARVARD University economist Edward Glaeser who has ranked Christchurch on the Foreign Policy list of global cities to watch, said the massive rebuilding efforts following the earthquake devastation earlier this year poses a unique opportunity for the city to rethink urban form.

The list of 16 cities expected to shape the next century was compiled by Glaeser in partnership with Columbia University sociologist Saskia Sassen.

Christchurch took 9th place on the list, after Sao Paulo and ahead of London. Taking the number one position was Singapore, noted by the economists as “surely the world’s best-managed city”.

The top 10 global cities to watch in order are: Singapore, Gurgaon (India), Cairo, Hong Kong-Shenzhen, Athens, Vancouver, New York, Sao Paulo, Christchurch and London.

AAA Cavalier Bremworth Unbuilt Architecture Awards

Yumian Chai’s winning ‘100 Rooms of Solitude’ model

AN ARCHITECTURAL project demonstrating 'a maturity that stood out from the rest' was among the three winning entries in the 2011 AAA Cavalier Bremworth Unbuilt Architecture Awards, announced last night at Auckland's St Paul St Gallery.

Yumian (Dino) Chai's winning design in the student section was entitled '100 rooms of solitude' and featured 100 tiny models representing 100 days of memories. The judges described the project as 'intelligent, experimental, poetic, universal, endlessly inventive, delicate and sensitive'.

A new 'Open category' for New Zealand professional architects was introduced to this year's competition. The Open category was divided into two sections – Open Work-in-Progress and Open Conceptual.

Winner of the Open Work-in-Progress section was Gerald Melling of Melling Morse in Wellington for the St Mary’s Convent residential project in Lyttelton. Judges commented, "the design of this house is an elegant solution in recycling the ravaged remains of St Mary’s Convent. The proposal displays great clarity and maturity in planning, proportions, and materiality. The jury sincerely hopes this project comes to fruition."

Taking out the Open Conceptual section was a quartet from Burgess & Treep - Graeme Burgess, Michael Strange, Vance Bentley and Sybil Bloomfield. Their project to create a new floating park on the East River in New York incorporating a decommissioned aircraft carrier ‘demonstrated the imaginative type of thinking that could be applied to the Auckland waterfront’ noted the judges.

A full summary of the 2011 award winners is below:

Student Winner: Yumian (Dino) Chai
100 Rooms of Solitude

Judges citation': An intelligent, experimental, poetic, universal, endlessly inventive, delicate and sensitive project that fully expressed the potential of the award and demonstrated a maturity that stood out for the judges.

Student – Runner Up: Clayton Prest
Tipu Spiritual Retreat

Judges' citation: Well presented, romantic, haunting project that is easy to believe. Demonstrates a credible NZ typology and references a refreshing relationship between the natural and the manmade. Judges enjoyed the clarity and simplicity of presentation.

Student - Highly Commended: Claudia Weber
Implementing Permaculture into a Refugee Camp

Judges' Citation: A very humane, generous and self-effacing scheme that demonstrates the practical service that architecture can give to even a simple life. It’s easy to understand that this could create real change and benefit. It exhibits an architectural humility and appropriateness that could easily be applied to existing situations.

Open Conceptual – Winner: Graeme Burgess, Michael Strange, Vance Bentley, Sibyl Bloomfield, Burgess & Treep Architects
A Design for the East River between 38th & 60th Street, NYC

Judges' citation: There was a boldness to this project that the judges responded to. It is an example of the type of creativity that needs to be applied to the Auckland waterfront. Its message of peace is right for NY and illustrates the recycling of a decommissioned aircraft carrier is a highly imaginative solution. The interlinking components are no less strong.

Open Conceptual – Runner Up: Jonathan Gibb
The Green Cage

Judges' citation: Beautifully evocative project with a balance of delicacy and robustness. A place that is haunting and imagines a different potential for an abandoned space. Demonstrates a collection of highly liveable spaces in an otherwise tough and unused environment

Open Conceptual – Highly Commended: Fraser Moore, Kenneth Li
Olympic Pavilion

Judges' citation: An easy grace in the way this pavilion folds itself out of the square and in the landscape-like nature of its approach.

Open Work-in-Progress – Winner: Gerald Melling, Melling Morse
St Mary’s Convent

Judges' citation: The design of this house is an elegant solution in recycling the ravaged remains of St Mary’s Convent. The proposal displays great clarity and maturity in planning, proportions, and materiality. The jury sincerely hopes this project comes to fruition.

Open Work in Progress – Runner Up: RTA Studio
Mixed use cafe/retail/office - Ponsonby 

Judges' citation: The jury commends the appropriate size and simplicity of this small commercial development. Set in one of Auckland’s best loved retail precincts, its fine human scale and market arrangement respects and develops this neighbourhood to a new level.

Landscape Architecture NZ wins at The Maggies

LA Issue #8

ARCHITECTURE NZ'S sister magazine Landscape Architecture NZ has been hailed the winner of the Business & Trade category at the 2011 The Maggies.

The Maggies (Magazine Publishing Association's 2011 Magazine Awards) recognise the best magazine cover designs based on excitement factor, intrigue, impact of images and its ability to entice the reader from amidst the clutter of the newsstand.

Landscape Architecture NZ's winning November 2010 cover features a free-runner jumping off the steps at Auckland's Aotea Square (the issue's feature article).

Editor Michael Barrett explains, ‘It was a compelling way to demonstrate the work of our readership who create great interaction between people and the built environment. We came across a parkour team doing crazy things in central Auckland and arranged for them to run around in specific places when we shot the square. With no cover lines the cover image told the story in a dynamic and human way.”

Covers entered into The Maggies were shortlisted by a panel of judges; the shortlist was then put to a public vote where over 20,000 votes were received over six weeks. 

Publishers were encouraged to donate to children’s charity, Cure Kids, plus everyone who voted received a $5 iSUBSCRiBE gift voucher, with $1 from magazine subscriptions purchased with this voucher going to charity. Over $3,000 has been raised for charity already.

Auckland Harbour Bridge pathway design unveiled

A DESIGN proposal for walking and cycling pathway additions to Auckland’s Harbour Bridge have been revealed.

Copeland Associates Architects have created a short movie of what the Harbour Bridge could look like with a four metre wide walkway shared by both pedestrians and cyclists added on to it.

Auckland Harbour Bridge Pathway design - Copeland Associates Architects

The pathway would be positioned under the city-bound clip-on. Users would have views across to the city, North Shore, harbour and Hauraki Gulf.

Architect Barry Copeland said many stakeholders needed be considered when drawing up Copeland Associates’ design including pathway users, New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA), engineers and the promoters.

“Then there is the challenge of how you put the whole thing together at the same time ensuring every piece is marine treated to withstand the harsh environment in which the bridge exists,’ Mr Copeland said.

NZTA has said it is unable to fund a pathway, with preliminary costings of between $23 million and $31 million, but a toll for usage has been suggested.

More information is available at the promoters website.

Kiwis among World Architecture Festival finalists

FINALISTS IN World Architecture Festival Awards 2011 have been announced, celebrating the world’s most innovative and beautiful recent architecture projects, including three entries from New Zealand.

House for a Family of Five designed by RTA Studio, Waitomo Caves Visitors Centre by Architecture Workshop and the NMIT Arts & Media Building by Irving Smith Jack Architects are all New Zealand-based projects that are on the shortlist as finalists.

Among other finalists was a hotel built up in the trees in Sweden, by Tham & Videgard Arkitekter. It is made from lightweight aluminium and clad in mirrored glass.

Theatre by Salto AB OU

In Estonia, one of the finalist projects is a black theatre made from straw designed by Salto AB OU as a series of stepped rooms that fit in with the slope of the site.

In New York City’s Lower East Side the glass fronted Sperone Westwater gallery designed by UK architects Foster + Partners made the finalists list. The shape of the gallery has a double height exhibition space, making the most of its narrow site.

In London a digital and media building next to the O2 arena is one of the finalists. The building, designed by AZPA, has gothic rose and flower designs on its external façade made using tiles and circular windows.

A bamboo office building in the Indian city of Bangalore by local Manasram Architects is a zero energy development. It is one of the finalists, with its fisherman’s net-style design demonstrating the strength of bamboo as a building material.

Other finalists include a handmade training centre built from local materials with local labour in Cambodia, Plaza Ricard Vines public space in Spain using labyrinth pathways, and the restoration of fire and earthquake-damaged Iron Market in Haiti.

World Architecture Festival programme director Paul Finch said the entries were of the highest quality ever seen.

“The WAF Awards celebrate architectural excellence the world over and allow architects to showcase their talent and their unique responses to the ever-changing economic climate,” Mr Finch said.

“There is now an increasing need for innovative approaches to architecture, inspiring architects and designers to think in new ways about buildings.”

All finalists will present to a panel of judges at the World Architecture Festival in Barcelona in November.

Houses Awards announced in Australia

THE INAUGURAL Houses Awards were presented in style on Friday at the spectacularly ornate Plaza Ballroom in Melbourne.

Architecture Media’s editorial director, Cameron Bruhn, introduced the shortlisted projects and the awards were then announced by the relevant sponsor for the particular award.

Described by the jury as a contemporary architectural interpretation of the Australian colonial idyll, Virginia Kerridge Architect’s House in Country NSW won the grand prize of Australian House of the Year. The same project also jointly won Best House Alteration and Addition under 200 square metres with Trial Bay House by HBV Architects and James Jones. Richard Peters Associates’ reworking of an 1890s farrier’s workshop, The Shed, won the award for a project under 200 square metres in the same category.

House Shmukler, by Tribe Studio, won the award for best New House under 200 square metres as well as the award for sustainability. The award for best New House over 200 square metres went to Z House by Donovan Hill.

Anthony Gill Architects’ tiny thirty-eight square metre Potts Point Apartment won the award for best Apartment, Unit or Townhouse. Contained within a Harry Seidler designed building, the new insertion is a single block of new joinery that runs the length of the space, gathering up all the stuff and creating places to sleep and live. The Garden of Ghosts by Terragram and Allen Jack+Cottier Architects won the Outdoor prize.

The current issue (Issue 81) of Houses (Australia) has a full report on the awards.

Appointments at Peddle Thorp

AUCKLAND-BASED PEDDLE Thorp Architects has announced senior appointments for three of its top staff.

Former associate director Bradley (Brad) Luke has been appointed a director while Margaret Garthwaite and Wade Jennings have been appointed associate directors.

Brad Luke, 35, has been with Peddle Thorp since 2005 but also worked for the practice before he moved to work in the UK for two years in 2003.

Brad Luke

Peddle Thorp director Richard Goldie says Mr Luke possesses director-level skills and outlook supported by a strong global view and important technical and project delivery abilities.

Notable projects Mr Luke has worked on include the award-winning $115 million Stamford Hotel Residences project where Peddle Thorp designed 10 additional floors to the building and upgraded the hotel lobby and guest rooms.

Margaret Garthwaite, 57, has been with Peddle Thorp for three years. A health services planner, Ms Garthwaite brings invaluable experience in the healthcare industry to her role.

Margaret Garthwaite

Mr Goldie says health projects are a key focus for the practice and it is in Ms Garthwaite’s brief to ensure health facility patient and staff needs are heard and incorporated into planning and design.

Ms Garthwaite works as a go-between to help translate clinical and service delivery models into design briefs and is “extremely passionate” about how facility design and interiors can improve patient experiences and help the healing process.

Wade Jennings, 40, has been with Peddle Thorp for four years and was formerly with HOK, one of the world’s largest architecture practices based in the Netherlands.

Wade Jennings

He joined Peddle Thorp in February 2007 after 10 years in Europe and is leading Peddle Thorp’s sustainable research and planning in the company’s commercial teams.

Mr Jennings was a key member of Peddle Thorp’s team on the award-winning 21 Queen St project which took out NZIA local and National awards for sustainability and commercial architecture.

Mr Goldie says the appointments reflect both the practice’s busy schedule as well as the talents of the people involved.

“We are fortunate to be able to have the services of a team of Architects who bring to Peddle Thorp a wide variety of skills that give us particular strength across commercial construction, health planning and interiors."

Projects designed by Peddle Thorp include Auckland's office tower Vero Centre, the five Green Star rated East Building at Britomart and part of the mixed-use Auckland CBD development Rhubarb Lane.

World-class Kiwi solar bach sold

Energy efficient solar-operated bach Meridian First Light house designed by Victoria University students has been sold at auction for $326,000.

On July 1, the day after the Harcourts auction that saw it sold, the house was shipped the United States for the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011 competition. It was the only finalist, of 20 total, from the southern hemisphere.

Progressive Building magazine featured the house in its June/July 2011 issue. Construction company Mainzeal acted as building advisors to the students working on the house.

An Intelligent Airtightness System eliminates uncontrolled air leakage through the building envelope and provides optimum protection against mould and condensation in the construction.

The components of ProClima’s Intello Plus system are polypropylene microfibre fleece, polyethylene copolymer membrane and polypropylene reinforcement. It is both airtight and also a vapour check - a ‘humidity variable moisture control layer’ with vapour diffusion resistance characteristics which vary according to relative humidity. The membrane is more diffusion-tight in colder periods while resistance decreases significantly in warmer conditions allowing for back diffusion.

The house is clad in light, natural Canadian cedar that travels well and suits the bach look. In a kit-set form for straightforward reassembly, the timber will be packed seperately from the modules. A clip-on aluminium baton system connects to the exterior cladding, and a 70mm cavity conceals downpipes.

The solar-operated Building Management System, supplied by Schneider Electric, was a large part of the project as the entire competition was driven by performance. Victoria University Building Science students have put their skills behind this critical technology. On the east side a space contains “the kit” that runs the solar powered services, from a heat pump and hot water to ventilation and cooling.

An interactive, real time energy monitoring system in the Building Management System tracks energy usage in the home, the system communicating complex data in a simplified way. Peak energy usage, peak energy production, water usage and climate data are represented by the rings of a tree trunk, which increase and decrease accordingly.

This month the house will be judged in Washington D.C against other cost-effective, energy-efficient and attractive homes built to the same requirements by students from elsewhere in the world.

Text by Helen Frances and Jazial Crossley

NZ Wood wins Christchurch city design competition

Christchurch City Council’s 48 Hour Design Challenge was won by forest and wood resource development programme NZ Wood for its timber-based concept plan.

The competition took place 2-3 July 2011 in Christchurch, with fifteen teams of seven members each presenting plans for future developments in the Red Zone earthquake-damaged parts of the city.

NZ Wood’s winning presentation was for apartment living combined with green spaces and pedestrian access, created for Orion NZ’s Gloucester St site.

Leader for NZ Wood’s team, Jason Guiver, said only 4 of the 7 buildings previously on the site survived the earthquakes that have struck the city since September.

“This gave us a lot to work with and we were actually able to provide more building space and an increased open area for pedestrians,” Mr Guiver said.

“Our main focus was to demonstrate the advantages of using timber technology that’s being developed here in Christchurch. Timber buildings that are designed in a certain way are safer and less likely to be damaged during an earthquake – and it doesn’t cost any more to build.”

Each team competing in the 48 Hour Design Challenge had a student as one its members, joining the engineers, architects and planners who made up the remainder of the team.

Canterbury University engineering student Ben Carter who was on NZ Wood’s team will go to Melbourne for the Landscape Urbanism Three Day Design Challenge at the end of July.

“It was great to win, but we also just really enjoyed the whole event,” Mr Guiver said.

Buildnz Designex 2011 an industry success

Buildnz Designex 2011 offered a range of exhibits and seminars to the architectural and interior design, building and construction industries during a successful three day expo.

Held at Auckland’s ASB Showgrounds June 26-28, the trade-only event was bustling with attendance from industry people keen to experience the latest innovations.

There were 170 different displays of exhibitors showcasing products, with the inaugural Selector Product of the Show Awards highlighting some of the most well-designed, unique and functional.

Co-located alongside the event was the Registered Master Builders Federation 2011 conference for the first time, providing a range of informative seminars on important industry issues.

Brent Spillane from Buildnz Designex 2011 new owner Xpo Exhibitions said the event was exceeded expectations, with strong qualified attendance from members of the industries it was aimed at. CPD points were awarded for attendance.

“We’ve worked tirelessly to reinvigorate the whole format of this event. Visitors have really had the sense it’s a new event so that’s great,” Mr Spillane said.

The seminars proved popular with talks by the minister of Civil Defence and minister of Building and Construction. Topics spoken about at the seminars included legislative changes, Christchurch redesign and rebuild and leaky homes.

“I think whole format [of Buildnz Designex] is fast becoming the most important national platform for building and design in New Zealand, with government and industry bodies attending and of course most innovative products, brands and service offerings in the market,” Mr Spillane said.

Attendees of Buildnz Designex 2011 could go in the draw to win a Ford Ranger XLR ute that was being given away in association with Ford, Radio Hauraki and Xpo Exhibitions and a kitchen design prize worth $20,000 from Harvey Norman Commercial.

“The new format brought a lot more energy into the expo. We’ve already had a huge commitment from exhibitors for the next show,” said Mr Spillane.