UC engineering student part of winning design team

07 July 2011

UC engineering student Ben Carter was part of the team that took top honours in the recent 48 Hour Design Challenge.

UC engineering student part of winning design team - Imported from Legacy News system

The new Orion NZ site at 203 Gloucester Street, as designed by Supreme Award winner NZ Wood.

UC engineering student Ben Carter was part of the team that took top honours in the recent 48 Hour Design Challenge.

Ben was part of the NZ Wood team whose plan to redevelop the Orion site on Gloucester Street won them a category prize and the Supreme Award of the event. The challenge, run by the Christchurch City Council and held at Lincoln University, provided an opportunity for the Council to gain inspiration from the design and architecture industry, while testing the draft Central City Plan currently being developed.

For claiming the special student prize Ben won a trip to Melbourne to take part in the City's Landscape Urbanism Three Day Design Challenge from 25 to 30 July.

NZ Wood Team leader Jason Guiver said the 15,000m² site owned by Orion NZ had only four of its original seven buildings following the recent earthquakes.   

"This gave us a lot to work with and we were actually able to provide more building space and an increased open area for pedestrians.

"Our main focus was to demonstrate the advantages of using timber technology that's being developed here in Christchurch. Timber buildings that are designed in a certain way are safer and less likely to be damaged during an earthquake - and it doesn't cost any more to build."

The team's concept incorporated green space, affordable apartment living, pedestrian access from Latimer Square through to the Avon River and it retained historical elements of the site.

A total of 15 teams took part in the Challenge, with seven people in each including engineers, planners, urban designers, architects and landscape architects, as well as one student on each team.

The four sites within the Red Zone included Cathedral Square and the BNZ Building; 160 Gloucester Street; the Orion NZ Building at 203 Gloucester Street; and 90 Armagh Street, including the Avon River and Victoria Square. The fifth site, which sits outside the Red Zone, is the former Christchurch Women's Hospital at 885 Colombo Street.

NZ Wood was presented with the Supreme Award at an awards ceremony on 3 July.  

For more information contact:

or check out more about the event on the Council website at:

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