ADVANCED DESIGN 2 BRIEF 2013
In both the Council’s Draft Plan and CERA’s Blueprint the defined focus has been the CBD, with 80% of the building stock lost and over 50,000 jobs displaced it is understandable. However the CBD is 6.2sqkm and accounts for only 1.3% of Christchurch’s total urban area (452sqkm). In this course we will widen the scope and look at how the city works as a whole, through which you will become familiar with the political agenda’s shaping Christchurch and develop your own critical position.
The consequence of the current political context is that while so much focus has been on developing large-scale commercial and civic projects for the city centre other critical issues have been neglected, such as the severe lack of housing. The quick fix has been to open up fringe land to build suburbs, pushing the city ever further outward. Even before the earthquakes Christchurch was a city that was expanding outwards rather than up, a product of this growth was the wider suburbs expanding reliance on malls and shopping centres. With these strategically placed economic hubs providing the majority of goods and services required by the dispersed population, the need to travel longer distances to the CBD becomes less and less – a fact reflected in the financial growth figures of the suburbs versus the CBD prior to the earthquakes. This means the future planned CBD could well suffer from the lack of people, as the quick fix for housing will draw people even further away from the CBD.
In this course we will propose ways to infill and focus local development in under utilized areas within the existing urban boundary. We will address urgent needs, question current planning policies and test alternative design solutions for the future rebuild by drawing on inherent assets within local neighborhoods. The underlying intention of the course is to propose a resilient Greater Christchurch with a primary central core surrounded by identifiable satellite hubs. To push this idea further we will investigate how local developments could be designed to respond to their context and create unique identities.
URBAN INVESTIGATION > URBAN DESIGN
The first four weeks of the course will be dedicated to an in-depth body of research into a specific location. The aim is to identify inherent properties in your chosen area and draw on them to become catalysts for a proposed development. Recognizing that each area is unique, it is encouraged to test new ideas and explore radical urban design strategies.
As we approach an era where fossil fuels are diminishing and climates changing there is a greater urgency to promote and choose lifestyles that are conscious of our environmental impact, which includes making informed choices as to how we live and work collectively. An underlying objective for this course is to design proposals for a city where resources, economies and lifestyles work in balance with one another.
Inherent in the development of the work is the ambition to develop appropriate strategies for Christchurch, ones that support the urban regeneration while at the same time contends with issues facing 21st Century urban design. This requires understanding what makes Christchurch unique within the global context.
You will work in self-selected groups of 2-3 for the duration of the course. Each team will select an area of study from a range of options to be discussed in the first day of the course. Within your team you will each take on clearly identifiable roles, which will include a body of research and a design component. Together you will develop a site investigation which will include topics such as: transport, housing, commercial, services, recreation, open space, and public space. You will be asked to critically analyze your findings to identify inherent traits and then develop relevant propositions for your area. The proposals you develop should challenge conventions of zoning and aim to provoke alternative approaches to urban developments.
MID-SEMESTER BREAK (Suggested Site Visit)