Heritage remains strong in restoration of iconic space
The Christchurch earthquakes left Victoria Square, an important central city green space, in poor condition, unable to meet the current and future needs of the community and visitors.
As lead designers for the project, our landscape architects have been working on a restoration plan with Otākaro Limited, the company responsible for delivering Crown-led anchor projects in the Christchurch rebuild. The upgraded square needs to retain the treasured qualities and character of this key public space whilst still allowing for improvements and access to the adjacent Otākaro Avon River.
Heritage features will remain in their existing locations, preserving connections to the past. These include the Queen Victoria and Captain Cook statues, the floral clock and the Bowker Fountain, Australasia’s first fountain to be illuminated by electricity, which will be fully restored. The square’s flowing, soft, green character is a counterpoint to that of the more urban Cathedral Square, and this defining characteristic is celebrated through the restoration plan.
The design was developed in consultation with a community reference group and Matapopore and includes a series of new artworks reflecting the importance of the site to Te Ngāi Tūāhuriri Rūnanga and the ongoing relationship between Crown and Iwi. Public feedback has helped inform the plan, with input from local business, tourism, accessibility and youth groups.
Restoration works began in February and include the installation of high quality paving and seating walls, site furniture and lighting improvements. Construction of a punt stop/Tauranga waka, will provide a landing point for ever-popular punting activity on the Otākaro Avon River, and encourage private vessels to use the waterway once again. Restoration works will provide a safer and more accessible environment, setting this much-loved green space in good stead to continue serving the people of Christchurch for decades to come.
The project is due for completion in March 2018.
Landscape architecture, Developed design, Detailed design, Concept design, Construction monitoring, Engagement
|Project team||Nik Kneale|
Beca, ECubed, Ian Bowman, H2O Engineering
|Project date||2015 - ongoing|