The Green Frame & Avon Precinct, as proposed CCDU Blueprint released July 2012, is meant to create a green belt around a newly defined inner CBD and in a sense become an extension of Hagley Park. After studying the proposal, we came to believe that the idea to extend Hagly Park and improve the ‘Garden City’ image is valuable, however we questioned the CCDU proposal to adhere to the historic grid. We believe the form could be derived from underground water ways and therefor be informed by inherent natural tendencies rather then the street grid.
Christchurch is sitting on a number of underground waterways and aquifiers, which have been concreted over, and therefor masking an untapped resource. We believe that nature should be the true source of green urbanism and it is by revealing nature that we propose a radical alternative to the Green Frame. By harvesting the potential beneath Christchurch and bringing the hidden waterways to the surface, Christchurch could create an ‘Urban Archipelago’. This would form multiple cores, and where each island could take on a different identity based on its architecture. The archipelago would highly contrast and break the existing fabric of the orthogonal grids of the city and bring about a ‘new’ Christchurch that responds to the Avon River.
Damien He, Taylor Chan, Louie Tong, June 2013