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Opus consortium to design Avon River Precinct in New Zealand

20 Dec 2012 (Last Updated December 20th, 2012 18:30)

The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) has selected a consortium led by engineering consultancy Opus, to design and develop the Avon River Precinct, as well as North and East Frames in central Christchurch, New Zealand.

The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) has selected a consortium led by engineering consultancy Opus to design and develop the Avon River Precinct, as well as North and East Frames in central Christchurch, New Zealand.

The consortium includes UK design firm BDP, Royal Associates Architects, EOS and Arup.

In July 2012, the New Zealand Government unveiled plans for reconstruction of the earthquake-hit Christchurch central business district (CBD).

The earthquake, which occurred in February 2011, destroyed several homes and buildings in the region.

Christchurch Central Development Unit (CCDU) created the plans, which detail a CBD with a redeveloped city square within an L-shaped green space.

The plans include an art stadium, a metro sports facility, a new 2,000-seat convention centre and public amenities such as a hospital, courts, as well as education facilities.

The city will be divided into separate zones for health, arts and entertainment, retail, and justice and emergency facilities.

Under the plans, the low density open space eastern frame will span from Kilmore Street to Saint Asaph Street on land, between Madras and Manchester Streets.

New urban living apartments are also expected to be developed along the edge of the low-density open space eastern frame.

The southern part of the frame will be developed into a campus-style area, which will feature a walkway and cycleway, starting from Madras Street to Hagley Avenue.

The sports facility will feature an aquatic and indoor arena to host national and international events, plus a training facility.

The new convention centre will link the square to the Avon River Precinct and will give a boost to hotels in the area.

CERA will oversee the projects, along with partners including Christchurch City Council, Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu, and Environment Canterbury.

Construction work will begin in early 2013 and the project is expected to be complete within three years.