Four finalist entries have been unveiled in the Christchurch, New Zealand urban design competition, Breathe - The New Urban Village Project. The brief called for innovative medium-density housing development designs from collaborative groups containing a designer and a property developer. A total of 58 entries from around the world were received.
"Due to the high caliber of entries, the judges decided to name four finalists instead of the planned three," said New Zealand Building and Construction Minister, Maurice Williamson. "This competition will help breathe new life into central Christchurch and show the rest of the country and the world how to make inner cities more desirable places to live."
Architects had three months to create a concept in three drawings that would change the way people think about urban living, by designing an exemplar housing development that will be the catalyst for modern urban living in the heart of the city.
The finalists now have three months to take their initial concepts through to a more developed design. The winning concept will be built adjacent to Christchurch's Latimer Square commencing December 2013.
Here are the four finalists:
Ganellen, the University of Technology Sydney and Design King Company Architects (Australia)
Judges' comments: Judges valued this design for its use of modern materials and construction methods to deliver edgy urban living that draws on classic European style. “Affordable apartments will attract young professionals, workers and students to care-free and vibrant central city living.” Strong vertical architecture surrounds the village square and enticing laneways, while townhouses offer a diversity of living opportunities. This new urban village has strong connections to the surrounding green frame and central city amenities.
Jasmax, Viva Project, Evergreen Realty and Latitude Group Development (New Zealand)
Judges' comments: Judges summarise this entry as “a living-village focusing on strong community connections and environmental stewardship”. The village uses natural materials and native plants to harness rainwater and capture energy from the sun to deliver an exemplar of “one-planet living.” The design delivers a strong sense of place and community created through its diverse housing and shared amenities surrounded by an inviting garden city setting. A further strength of this unique community-based development model is that its modest approach addresses housing affordability issues.
Walker Architecture and Design, and Ceres NZ Development (New Zealand)
Judges' comments: This design presents delightful homes set around four village greens, each with a strong historical connection. “This quirky and slightly chaotic design offers a true village feel that is well connected to its surroundings.” Judges also praised the eclectic mix of homes and simple quadrangle and lane design which offers a very flexible delivery method.
Anselmi Attiani Associated Architects, Cresco Group and Holloway Builders (Italy & New Zealand)
Judges' comments: Judges liked this entry for its simple elegance which uses the beauty of natural materials. They say the fresh and clean architectural design within a native garden, creates a naïve beauty that will have wide appeal. This entry presents a more conventional townhouse and apartment development and provides a good balance of private and shared amenities. “Pets and barbeques can be enjoyed in the private courtyards while shared spaces will foster community life in an urban village setting.”
Images courtesy of Breathe - The New Urban Village Project.