Festa plans outrageous spectacle in Christchurch

23:32, Sep 14 2014
In a city dominated by demolition, light shows projected onto fabric hung from cranes will be a feature of the inaugural FESTA.
The Kloud is one of the innovative concepts planned for the festival.
A hot-air balloon is the inspiration for Atmosphere, one of the projects now being prepared for the show.
Sixteen projects that use light as their principal medium will create a space for a variety of urban functions: cafes, bars, live music and performance, a fashion event and a night market.
The bottleneck on Gloucester Street in front of Press House had people resorting to opening a fence to relieve the pressure.
An aerial rope act entertained the crowd along with live music.
Models in clear plastic balls were part of the In Your face project done for clothing store Infinite Definiite by students from Auckland University.
Architecture and design students were able to display their creations for one night.
Visitors of all ages explore the creations.
Urban spaces transformed by light and imagination.
A variety of materials were pressed into service to delight the crowd.

Architecture students will transform central Christchurch with elevated, glowing physical installations for the 2014 Festival of Transitional Architecture (Festa) on Labour Day weekend.

Called CityUps, the event will include about 12 installations built on scaffolding frames 10m high and 12m wide on two blocks of High St.

Forms and shapes will drape off and decorate the frames, while lights, sound and music will add to the spectacle, CityUps chief planner and University of Auckland architecture assistant professor Uwe Rieger said.

FESTA 2012
CAST OF THOUSANDS: The 2012 Festival of Transitional Architecture brought people back into the city centre.

The "outrageous" displays will be reminiscent of LuxCity, the unexpectedly popular 2012 Festa show that turned central Christchurch into a night-time showcase of light and form.

"A city made from light for one night," it was called. Over 20,000 crushed into the streets that Labour Day weekend.

Festa has extended the hours this year, hoping families will enjoy the free show from 5pm on Saturday, October 25 while the partiers will carry on late into the night.


The installations are being designed and built in Auckland, where the bulk of New Zealand architecture students study.

The projects must be transportable to Christchurch and the designs capable of being erected quickly.

A theme is recycling and it's hoped most materials will not be sent to landfills after the one-night CityUps event.

Groups of about 15 students, overseen by an academic tutor, have been collected into "studios" to plan the installations.

They have been matched with Christchurch organisations, typically a bar or hospitality company, that will serve food and drinks from within the installations.

"The designs must be functional," Rieger said.

"The students can't be so in love with their design that they neglect their [clients]."

Each studio also has to meet a budget - just like real architects.

Festa is also running a global design competition called CityUps+ for smartphone applications in conjunction with HitLab NZ. For example someone might design a futuristic building for a corner of High and Lichfield Sts, which will be viewable on an app.

The broader Festa theme this year is "the future will be live", which promises to "return life and energy to Christchurch's heart" while exploring possible futures for Christchurch in the present.

Expect transitional vacant-space projects, a pop-up zero-impact restaurant and an immersive installation in which plants have overrun Christchurch.

Festa hopes to raise $25,000 for CityUps with a campaign on website PledgeMe.co.nz