My Favourite Window

February 22, 2013


The Christchurch Rebuild: it's an interesting concept.  While the words summon up a grand plan for a major international construction project and a beautiful 21st Century city, for many people it means reaching resolution with insurance companies, the Earthquake Commission, and the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority before eventually getting back into a safe, habitable home.

Alongside the need for housing stability there is also strong motivation to get commercial areas back into business. The block above is in the central city, while the site below - in Merivale - will gradually render the shipping container, street façade obsolete.

The small shopping precinct below, replaces a 1930s brick building housing a set of suburban 'corner' shops. 

Across town, on the corner of Rossall St and Holmwood Rd, is another rebuilt corner precinct. Both of these new shopping centres were buzzing with activity when I stopped to photograph them.

Whether or not a distinct post-earthquake look will emerge (as happened with Napier during the flowering of Art Deco sensitivity), is uncertain. The arcade of shops above, certainly relates more to similar recent development, than buildings further along the street that were renewed before the earthquakes, during a faux-Mediterranean fervour. 

This building (also in Merivale) clad in copper, is certainly one of the most avant-garde rebuilds that I have seen, but will probably remain one-of-a-kind.

As will, I suspect the temporary Anglican cathedral, being constructed of cardboard tubing to a design by Japanese architect, Shigeru Ban.


Susan Heather said...

Thank you for those interesting photos of Christchurch's rebuild.

Cro Magnon said...

I suppose the only good thing to come from such a disaster, is the opportunity to re-create something wonderful. So often those opportunities are missed, in exchange for cheap, quick-fix, tat. I hope the big-wigs don't opt for the easy option.

rusty duck said...

Fascinating, good to see the city picking itself up again and business as usual.

Gert Jan Hermus said...

very interesting :-)

Greetings from The Netherlands,

two squirrels said...

Oh it's hard to believe its been two years!!!!
Best wishes.
Love V

libby said... standing still...and all below the bluest sky..lovely.

John Gray said...

I suspect it feels healing when you watch the slow evolving nature of the re growth eh?

Lady Mondegreen's Secret Garden said...

Susan Heather: I'd really like to get a few more up on this post - getting around them all in good light is the challenge.

Cro Magnon: I think that some of the rebuilds are constrained by the size of insurance payouts. I guess there will be a bit of a mixture as the rebuild unfolds.

rusty duck: there are still plenty of gaping demolition sites, but all those rebuilt sites are certainly buzzing.

Gert Jan Hermus: Lovely to have you visit. Thanks for your interest.

two sqirrels: It is hard to believe, and haven't our lives changed in huge ways in that time.

libby: That blue sky is so good for the soul. Rangi our sky father overlooking Papatuanuku, Mother Earth.

John Gray: I do feel that now I have moved beyond the grief of losing familiar territory. Now I am eager to see what we will become, and notice how much it is the people that make the city!

Cuby said...

This is all such exciting progress from such devastation caused by natures force that such creativity blossoms. The city is to be enjoyed by its residents,that is so good.

Lady Mondegreen's Secret Garden said...

Cuby: It is exciting, to see the responses and new ideas being realised. There's a new book out, which celebrates the way people have responded to the Earthquakes, with humour, affection, imagination. Even the great big concrete crusher - Twinkle Toes - which I believe was brought from Birmingham with its operator to nibble the big buildings to pieces, has found a place in our hearts!