Design gives flexible convention centre

JOHN EDENS AND DEBBIE JAMIESON
Last updated 05:00 21/08/2014
queenstown convention centre

HOW'S THIS: An updated artist's impression of the proposed Queenstown convention centre.

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Is it big enough? Is the space flexible enough?

At a design forum last night, panelists presented an architectural update on options for the long-mooted Queenstown Lakes District Council convention centre.

Designers Populous envisage a two-storey, split level centre with a 750-delegate plenary conference room, multi-use meeting and exhibition space and a 750-person dining venue.

A 100-strong audience was told the site could include a 150-room hotel, 185 residential units, a commercial and retail precinct and parking for 250 vehicles.

Options include moveable "operable walls" that could reconfigure the space into one continuous venue or a series of smaller subdivided spaces.

During a question and answer session the panelists were asked whether the design included scope for expanding as Queenstown continued to grow and whether the multi-use design space was flexible.

Architect Chris Paterson said the Lakeview site, with views to Ben Lomond, Cecil Peak, Lake Wakatipu and The Remarkables, was world class.

"It's a wonderful opportunity for Queenstown. It's a sensitive building within its environment and a building fit for purpose."

Designer James Pearce said options for the interior functionality included a flat conference floor, fixed tiered seating or spaces that could be reconfigured.

"One very exciting option within the design was moving operable walls that could open it up into a huge continuous exhibition space. We've managed to create options that offer a lot of potential and we will be definitely continuing with development to find other options."

The council is looking to fund $32.5m of the total cost and needs to make up the shortfall. Another forum will be held later this year to discuss funding options.

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- The Southland Times

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