Articles | Events

Open Christchurch

Monday, 2 December 2019
By Clara Sumner

Winstone Wallboards recently supported a new architectural event - Open Christchurch - which was a hit with the public and architects alike. For 11 weeks over winter, Open Christchurch allowed the people of Christchurch, and visitors to the city, to discover the city through architecture.

The mix and variety offered by the open buildings and guided walking tours attracted over 2300 people. Attendees relished this rare opportunity to experience three very different inner city schools - getting behind the scenes and gaining access to works of architecture that aren't usually accessible to the public.

The programme was developed and presented by Te Pūtahi - Christchurch centre for architecture and city-making.

Director Jessica Halliday says the idea won't be a one-off and that they are planning much bigger events for the coming years. "Christchurch has changed so much in the past nine years and people are hungry to encounter and learn about their city's new buildings and reacquaint themselves with restored and strengthened heritage treasures."

"The schools were wonderful in inviting  us all in and we couldn't have done it without the support of the construction sector. Winstone Wallboards were major sponsors for the event alongside Resene. The Warren Trust and Christchurch City Council also provided funding and the NZIA and ADNZ were event

partners, with several members of those organisations, alongside engineers, art historians and other volunteers, providing tours of the open buildings.

"One of the reasons people told us they embraced the open building events so readily was because it was free to attend. This meant Open Christchurch was accessible to families and fixed income households. The meaningful support of our sponsors and funders meant more people learnt about the value  of well-designed places. People have told us how much they enjoyed these encounters with buildings and that they want to see and learn more about the city's architecture again in the future. We are planning more events - so watch this space!"

The Article was supplied by Dr Jessica Halliday, Director - Te Pūtahi Christchurch centre for architecture + city-making.