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Building a reimagined city

Christchurch Community

29 October 2018

More than 150 architecture and design students from throughout Australasia worked alongside Citycare staff to transform a vacant Christchurch block into a reimagined city in the lead-up to Labour Weekend.

Their installations formed part of Christchurch’s Festival of Transitional Architecture (FESTA), which took over the central city from 19 - 21 October. The biennial event was a weekend celebration of urban creativity and regeneration, designed to involve residents in the remaking of central Christchurch.

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The theme for FESTA 2018 was food, and its role in shaping the urban environment.

All of the vacant sites around Mollett Street were transformed into a temporary city, which hosted the festival's headline event, FEASTA! – a large-scale public celebration of architecture, community and food.

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Citycare, a key supporter and official build partner of FEASTA!, was onsite to help architecture and design students to build unique installations that showcased the relationship between food and its place in society.

FEASTA! installations included a bamboo feasting hall, an Asian food market comprised of Hills Hoist washing lines and a futuristic bar.

Citycare staff supported the students with technical tasks such as operating machinery, working at height, rigging and construction, as well as sourcing materials. The company’s efforts helped to transform the students’ ideas and plans into reality.

Says Citycare Property Supervisor Doug Peek: “The most memorable part of this event for us was that we assisted these highly motivated and creative students to present their phenomenal creations to the public.”

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Events such as FESTA are important to the rebuilding of Christchurch, adds Doug.

“I believe these events create an atmosphere that demonstrates the city is experiencing a rebirth of its infrastructure, and reinvigorates the potential for our younger generation to assist in the rebuilding of our city into a premium destination – not only for tourism, but as a place they want to call home.”

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Doug is confident that students who’ve tasted FESTA success will go on to other transformational projects in the future.

FESTA Director Jessica Halliday says Citycare was instrumental in bringing the festival to life.

“Architecture students don’t usually make anything bigger than a model, which the public never sees,” says Jessica.

“When they create something for FESTA it is for the public, and their designs are literally brought to life. In supporting these students, Citycare helped them transition from designers to makers.”

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Citycare Group CEO, Onno Mulder, says the organisation’s support of initiatives like FESTA reflects a wider shift towards more active engagement with local communities.

“Instead of traditional sponsorships where corporates simply hand out cash, we are more interested in facilitating true community partnerships that have a demonstrable impact.”