Construction of Christchurch's new edible garden and cafe to start 2017

Field Studio of Architecture's design for Otakaro Orchard, edible community gardens with a cafe and information centre ...

Field Studio of Architecture's design for Otakaro Orchard, edible community gardens with a cafe and information centre to be built in Christchurch's north frame.

Designs for central Christchurch's community edible garden and cafe have been chosen and construction will start next year.

Otakaro Orchard, described as an urban food hub and an edible destination, will be built on Cambridge Tce between Colombo and Manchester streets.

It will be part of the publicly-owned north frame.
 
The project is being driven by the Food Resilience Network, a collaborative group of about 30 organisations which have joined forces to encourage a strong local food economy.

An early design for Otakaro Orchard.

An early design for Otakaro Orchard.

The group's idea for the site was chosen after the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority sought proposals for a non-profit community-based venture growing plants, fruits and vegetables.

The cost of the plan has been estimated at $2 million.

Individuals and organisations have already contributed money for the project through donations and crowd funding. The land will be leased from the Crown.

Chloe Waretini, of the Food Resilience Network, paints the names of donors to the Okataro Orchard on a shed on the site.

Chloe Waretini, of the Food Resilience Network, paints the names of donors to the Okataro Orchard on a shed on the site.

Project co-ordinator Chloe Waretini, of the Food Resilience Network, said it would be Christchurch's most regenerative building.

It would not only be about resources such as water, energy and food, but also about making cities "more dynamic, lively and people-centred", Waretini said.
 
"We're proud to be creating such a wonderful asset for the new Christchurch." 

The triangular site will house a cafe run by five organisations. They are community group Project Lyttelton, Aviva (formerly Christchurch Women's Refuge), mentoring group Big Brother Big Sister, disability support trust Skillwise and New Brighton based youth agency Youth Alive.

Otakaro Orchard will also be home to the Canterbury Horticultural Society, a local food information centre and library run by the Food Resilience Network, and event spaces for community functions. The bulk of the land will be occupied by the community garden with edible landscaping.

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Field Studio of Architecture have designed the building for the site. 

Design leader and Field Studio co-founder, architect Andrew Just, said it was a unique opportunity to create architecture that benefited the public, embodied the project's aims, and enabled the groups using it to come together productively.

Just has previously been involved in transitional rebuild projects including Artbox, Arcades, and Grandstandium.
 
Construction of the Otakaro Orchard building is expected to start in the second half of 2017, depending on resourcing.

A transitional garden will open on the site this month to host pop-up restaurant nights and other fundraising events.

The edible park landscaping will go in early in the new year, and Cantabrians can start planting the food garden itself from March.

 - Stuff

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