Competition to design, build city village

LOIS CAIRNS
Last updated 14:26 15/10/2012

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An international competition has been launched to design and build an urban village on the northeast side of Latimer Square.

The village will have a minimum of 50 dwellings and will occupy a 10,000-square-metre site on the corner of Madras and Gloucester streets.

Already nearly 130 architects and designers from around the world have registered their interest in taking part in the competition, which is being run jointly by the Christchurch City Council, the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment, the Christchurch Central Development Unit and Ngai Tahu.

Announcing the launch of the competition this afternoon, Mayor Bob Parker said it was one of the most exciting projects in the rebuild of earthquake-damaged central Christchurch.

''The new development will inspire and excite a new generation of residents to live within Christchurch's central city,'' he said.

''The winner of this competition will not only be creating a new place of living in our central city but also a catalyst for change in the way the world things about communities and lifestyle choices.''

The deadline for entries in the first-stage of the competition is January 15. The entries will be judged by a panel headed by Kevin McCloud, the presenter of award-winning television programme Grand Designs.

Other judges include landscape architect Di Lucas, engineer Kevin Simcock and youth leader Zea Harman.

Three teams will have their concept design chosen from the first stage of the competition. They will be given $20,000 to complete developed designs, from which a winner will be selected by next August.

It is planned to start construction of the village in December next year.

Minister for Building and Construction Maurice Williamson said he believed the designs that would emerge as a result of the competition would set Christchurch apart as a city of the 21st century.

''Central Christchurch has always been iconic and this competition to rebuild a bold and visionary inner city will see that tradition continue. It will create new icons and set an international benchmark for inner-city living,'' he said.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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