'It was gone, gone, gone'

16:00, Dec 10 2012
RIDING THE WAVE: Steve Rosling.

Architectural design company Element 17 director Steve Rosling is seeing the rebuild of Christchurch's business sector pick up speed and he is trying to ensure the firm rides the rebuild wave successfully.

Element 17's business is helping organisations fit out new premises, or adapt new post-quake premises to business needs.

Rosling started the business seven years ago.

A week after the February 22 earthquake hit, Rosling and his staff met and looked at their list of projects.

''It was 'gone, gone, gone, not happening', '' Rosling said.

''The first week I was 'have we actually got a business?'''


Initially unable to access their Lichfield St building, Steve Parr, of Design4Work, offered Rosling work space in his Blenheim Rd offices.

The firm worked there until Easter but Parr would not accept any payment for rent. Now back in their Lichfield St building, almost all of Element17's Christchurch work was initially a knock-on effect of the quake. Most of the firm's work had shifted to hospitality sector as that industry re-established itself.

Now the firm has done the fitout for the Canterbury Development Corporation, Black Betty's, the Radio Network building and SLI Systems new premises in the Epic hub.

Element 17 is now busy with a lot of design and drawing work for the hospitality sector.

One challenge is knowing where its own premises will be in about three or five years as its current site has been earmarked as the site for Christchurch's new stadium. Rosling would like the business to stay where it is.

Another challenge is managing its workload -  the firm has a lot of work on and staff numbers have doubled from four, when the quake hit, to eight.

Rosling has a balancing act, making sure the design firm's growth is sustainable and it can meet its commitments, without missing out on other projects as there is competition coming from firms outside  Christchurch looking to secure rebuild-related work.

The Press