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The Arcade Project

February 16th 2020


We were delighted to be a Gold supporter of The Arcade Project, an impressive series of six-metre-high vault-like frames which can be utilised as a transitional market space. The project was designed and constructed by Te Pūtahi to offer a beautiful and dramatic addition to contribute to the look and feel of the city during the rebuild.

The structures create two arcades, each consisting of five bays.  Situated on the Corner of Durham & Kilmore Streets the dramatic and beautiful framework has been designed as a movable infrastructure. Designed to be reconfigurable and relocatable, the structures have the potential to enliven vacant sites around Christchurch for the next 25 years.

The Arcade Project supports electricity and lighting, which is where we helped, and are capable of being covered to create internal space. The design makes lovely use of negative space and the structures appear lightweight and relatively insubstantial but define a very large area.

Sited along the diagonal axis of this prominent city site they support special events and their accentuation of Victoria Street as a public walkway through to Victoria Square is graceful and poignant.

While the shape of the arches references Christchurch’s rich Gothic Revival architectural heritage, the design’s stripped-back engineered timber frames hint at a new architectural future for the city.

The project was an immensely collaborative and community-driven initiative with a huge input from volunteers and generous sponsorship from local and national businesses and local government.

As our city rebuilds, projects such as The Arcade Project gave barren areas a depth and aesthetic elegance that now sits perfectly amongst the rebuilt buildings. It’s amazing to see how much has been done in Christchurch city centre since the arcade project started in in 2013.