Maintaining and enhancing the character of a unique township
The special qualities and character of Akaroa are well recognised and valued by the community. Akaroa is a unique township within New Zealand and a large part of the town along with the immediate harbour have been registered by the NZ Historic Places Trust.
Christchurch City Council appointed Boffa Miskell and Archifact to prepare a character study for the town, identifying the relative sensitivity of this character to change and consider where design guidelines are appropriate.
The study provided a detailed analysis of the town at the character unit level and then each of the units were assessed against a series of urban characteristics, views and values to determine overall sensitivity. The findings informed the content of the guidelines.
Both public and private realm guidelines were prepared. The private guidelines integrated conservation architecture, urban design and landscape design to maintain and enhance the character of Akaroa whilst recognising that the needs and aspirations of homeowners to undertake changes over time. The township was divided into four different character areas.