The Christchurch Arts Centre was severely damaged following the February 22nd earthquake. The site has been designated as “unsafe” and is therefore closed. While severely damaged, the buildings are repairable, and because of their historical importance they will be saved for future generations. However, it is uncertain how much it will cost to repair the buildings, where the funds will come from, the extent of restoration and strengthining required, and the time frame needed. So it may be years before the building reopens.
The Temporary Contemporary Arts Centre is designed to give the Arts Centre a temporay home while the buildings are strengthened and restored. The new building is programatically similar to the Arts Centre in that it is a mixed use building, the aim is to create a vibrant quality of life to attract a range of visitors. In addition to the programs already found in the Arts Centre, the Temporary Contemporary Arts Centre will appartments making for a place with activity throughout the day and evening.
The architecture proposed borrows from the past and adapts to the future. To do this I have referenced ornamentation from the Art Centre and adapted it to generate the form, spatial organization and materiality. Through the reuse of an ornament I have drawn a link to the past while also moving it into the future through applying ornament in a new and different way. The proposed building looks at how ornament was applied to architecture in the past, and how it is being applied today; today ornament is no longer just an embellishment but it is integrated into the building to form a whole.
“What you’re seeing now is a series of gaps that have appeared- huge slices of the city, huge gaps in peoples memories. It’s about the loss of memory of the city, the loss of 150 years of European Settlement.” Jenny May (Architectural historian and heritage planner)