Summer School 2013



The Green Frame & Avon Precinct, as proposed in the recently released CCDU Blueprint, has the unique potential of suturing together architecture, landscape architecture and urbanism. The Green Frame & Avon Precinct is the cities largest ‘transitional project.’ The government is purchasing private property in these areas with the economic intention to stabilize land values in the immediate future by mitigating the supply of vacant lots on the real estate market. For the next 10-15 years this land is meant to create a green belt around a newly defined inner CBD and in a sense became an extension of Hagley Park. Over time some of the land in the Green Frame will be returned to the private sector and developed. While this is extremely controversial, in that property owners are forced to sell their land and sometimes perfectly good buildings to the government, it is a bold and ambitious urban intervention and one that offers unique design challenges.

On the first hand it is a programmatic design challenge, if the areas are not maintained there is the real threat of them becoming derelict parks, and consequently devaluing the land. In order to retain or increase the land’s value it is necessary to activate the Green Frame & Avon Precinct with appropriate and attractive programs. Such programs should draw people to the area, be self-sufficient economically and be seamlessly integrated into the park like landscape.

On the other hand it is also a question of phasing and temporality, due to the fact that parts of the Green Frame will be re-developed in the future. This creates an opportunity to use the area for experimentation and testing of ideas that otherwise would not find their way into a permanent urban fabric. This notion of time and place can be an invitation for creative experimentation, and should allow for a range of temporal occupation, from a reoccurring event to something that may last a day, a week, a month, or a year.

This course will study the ways to program the Green Frame & Avon Precinct. In many ways the opportunities that the Green Frame & Avon Precinct present to the city is a stage upon which to experiment with architecture. The aim will be to use architecture to give identity and attract activities to the distinctly different areas along the Green Frame & Avon Precinct. Programs may be long term or short term, one-off or repeating, but what is important is that the design of this transitional area should invite participation, experimentation and provide the infrastructure for event making. By creating a landscape for events in the city, the Green Frame & Avon Precinct can lend to reinventing Christchurch’s identity as a Garden City through creatively programing the intersection between landscape architecture, architecture and urbanism.

The Green Frame & Avon Precinct create a loop that is connected to Hagley Park. There are four identifiable zones along this 5km route:
Southwest: health precinct & manufacturing
Southeast: innovation hub & stadium
Northeast: residential & commercial
Northwest: commercial & culture

The surrounding context influences the nature of the architecture in a way that draws out distinct characteristics in relationship to the immediate context. While each of the areas should be uniquely programmed relative to its context, it is important to also consider a sense of connectivity and cohesiveness throughout.

There will be four teams, each team will develop designs for one of the identified zones. Each team will coordinate with the adjacent teams to create a seamless and cohesive proposition. Within the team each member will have a defined scope of work, which can be tailored to the student’s specific course requirements. Within each team each student will be responsible for one of the following:
– urban scale concept (circulation, general massing)
– landscape architecture (lighting, pathways, plantings, furnishings)
– architecture (retained/demolished, repurposed buildings)

The design for each area shall include but is not limited to:
– a clear design concept transcending urbanism, architecture and landscape architecture
– programmatic proposition related to event making
– circulation (public transport, vehicle, bike, pedestrian)
– phasing strategy
– massing (define buildings to be demolished or repurposed)
– landscape strategy

The four weeks in Christchurch will be broken into the following tasks:
Week 1: Site Analysis and Event Programing
Week 2: Proposed Design Concept
Week 3: Integrated Design Strategy
Week 4: Final Presentation

Every Friday we will have a cross over critique with the other five studios participating in the Studio Christchurch Summer School. (Friday 12:00-5:00)

The two weeks in Auckland will be dedicated to post production and will include preperation for a publication and and exhibition.


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