Students show off rebuild designs

Last updated 08:12 27/01/2014
Christian Burgos and Therese Samson
Will Harvie

BREAKING THE GRID: Christian Burgos and Therese Samson show off their proposed development in East Sydenham.

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The Rebuild

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Tao Shen and Jeffrey Chow imagined a seven-storey tower near the Waltham St overbridge.

Bree Morgan and Jessica Hulme devised a series of triangle buildings inspired by a saw-tooth roof and Maori patterns. Christian Burgos and Therese Samson broke the grid pattern of a standard block with an angled cut incorporating a pond overlooked by multi-storey buildings.

All six are architecture students participating in Studio Christchurch's second annual Summer School, which brings 65 students from six New Zealand architecture programmes to Christchurch for four weeks of intensive thought about the rebuild.

Shen and the others were remaking Sydenham East, the industrial area south of Moorhouse Ave that was "ripe for some kind of investigation and proposition", according to the summer school prospectus. Each pair chose about a square block and recreated it - without concern for budget, ownership or consent issues.

On Friday, their proposals were subjected to a "crit" - a critique by fellow students and a jury of tutors, private sector architects and Christchurch City Council planners who could challenge every aspect of the proposals. A crit was a "very traditional component of architecture" and usually deeply private, course co-ordinator Camia Young said. The summer school opened the crits to the public to engage residents.

Other summer students tackled the performing arts precinct and the "polycentric" city - the idea that Christchurch doesn't have one city centre but rather suburban hubs that are perhaps being neglected as officials focus on the rebuild of the central business district.

It's hoped the ideas generated by the summer school will impact on the rebuild. The final student ideas will be publicly presented in the foyer of Christchurch civic office on February 4, and will eventually appear on

Open Source is a weekly series featuring innovative, interesting ideas emerging within the city and region. If you want to share an idea, email

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- The Press


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