The proposal is a mixed-used building in Christchurch’s urban context. The complex includes retail stores, office space, a learning centre and apartment units. The building is located on the north side of the central core of the city, 127 Armagh Street – one of the most severely damaged areas after the 2011 earthquakes.
Whilst CCDU’s blueprint has designated the surrounding area of the site as a new performing art precinct, the purpose of this project is to accommodate the diverse nature of this part of the city and its further growth. Along with two other collaborative team members who each proposed an apartment building and a riverside market, we are aiming to bring a series of programme of work, play and live to this part of the city.
The concept behind the design is based on the research of Christchurch artesian aquifers. The distribution patterns and geological properties of the aquifers offer an immense amount of potential and connections to architectonics; it also puts up a wider scope on the mechanism of liquefaction and other seismic hazard of the Christchurch landscape. The subterranean condition of aquifers is fully formed by different layers connecting; creating a free flowing circulation without destroying the hierarchy of the space. The design literally incorporates the extrapolated geometry of the aquifers, wrapped in a building envelop created by projecting the trajectories of the surrounding buildings and Avon river. Glazings and openings are determined according to functions on various parts of the interior. Sectional patterns of the aquifers also suggested programme for the building. Enclosed volumes are interpreted as residential units, whereas long, open volumes are made into public space. The transition between these levels is integrated by ramps, stairs and level changes of the floor plate, creating a free-flowing circulation.