Composite Village

The scheme takes as its starting point a three-dimensional collage of more than ten years of individual housing and commercial projects completed by our practice. This strategy circumvents the danger that large-scale developments of this type are devoid of the idiosyncratic qualities vital to the flourishing of urban environments. The London origin of many of the source projects inherently provides a contemporary reinterpretation of the colonial architecture that was central to the character of Christchurch and largely erased by the earthquake. These forms are combined with a palette of materials local to Christchurch, both historical and contemporary. The proposed building masses provide a buffer from the surrounding vehicular traffic where this is necessary, but do not defensively enclose the site. The scheme treats the interior of the site as a street-scape—prioritising pedestrians and cyclists, but also offering visual and spatial permeability to the surrounding streets.