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Opening new doors on city living

Buyers seeking a newly built city apartment will find plenty on the market But what if people want something else, more connected and affordable? Architect Craig South explores what this ‘something else’ could look like and how it could transform how we live

Recently I was invited to contribute to a New Zealand Institute of Architects’ meeting on the subject of emerging trends in city living As one of the speakers, I was pleased to give a talk on co-housing and the work our practice has been doing in this

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Architectural forum attracts positive response

Allfrey South Architects’ initiative ArchiChat is resonating strongly with people who share their passion for design and the architectural process As Architect Craig South reports, the latest two-way forum sparked constructive discussion on how  people like to live and holiday

Having launched our ArchiChat Group earlier this year, it is exciting for us to see interest growing in this interactive social forum that we set up for people wanting to learn more about architecture and what architects do

As well as giving people an opportunity to explore the practice of

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Bringing people together to talk Architecture

Allfrey South Architects’ opened an exciting conversation on architecture with the wider community earlier this year via their new ArchiChat Group Architect Craig South explains what the open forum is all about and why it is going from strength to strength

It has been a privilege for us to open our practice this year and welcome those with a passion for design and the architectural process to join our ArchiChat Group get-togethers Sharing a room with people from all walks of life who are genuinely interested in what we

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Breaking down myths about Architects

Misconceptions about architects and how they work can be off-putting for those weighing up whether to use their services In reality, as architect Craig South observes, there is nothing to fear and much to be gained from engaging a registered professional

It can be easy to forget that people outside your own profession may not have a great understanding of what it is you actually do Buildings are integral to our lives, yet the role of the architect is not necessarily clear to everyone In our practice, it is refreshing

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Designing for Community

City housing initiatives that promote a sense of community are sparking growing interest As architect Craig South explains, such housing developments can take many different forms

Earlier this year, we launched our ArchiChat Group to provide an informal way for people to meet us and share our love of architecture It has generated a lot of lively conversation, especially around the topic of community-based housing

Many find the idea really appealing because it connects with the New Zealand dream of small friendly neighbourhoods where children can play and grow up feeling

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You & Your Architect – a Creative Partnership

Every person is unique As architect Craig South explains, your home should also uniquely reflect who you are and how you want to live

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Responding creatively to Design Guidelines

Meeting design guidelines for particular sites is a must, but architect Craig South argues there is still plenty of room for creative interpretation

When making a big investment in a new home, it can be very reassuring knowing there are design rules in place to protect that investment Yet if these rules are followed conservatively, the results can be pretty bland and uninspiring and that may not be desirable from a long-term investment perspective A creative approach will more likely produce something memorable that will hold its value and reflect

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Balancing Architecture with Interior Design

Rather than treating interior design as a finishing touch, architect Craig South suggests a collaborative approach can be much more effective

Architects and interior designers have traditionally tended to work apart but, in my experience, it’s far better to have both on the same page and working together from an early stage Having a shared design vision is the best guarantee of an inspiring outcome

There may be a perception that the architect’s job stops at the front door, yet more often than not external form flows through to the interior

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Let’s talk architecture

Architect Craig South announces a new brand, along with an exciting new group to draw people together with a shared passion for architecture

It is energising to have started the year with a fresh new brand, Allfrey South Architects, and to reflect on what that represents The name change captures the strong partnership within our practice and gives a renewed sense of purpose as we move into the coming year

While the name is different, we have the same team of creative people on board who love everything about architecture

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Welcome to the Waterfront

Christchurch’s new city waterfront is transforming how people engage with the city and Te Papa Ōtakaro/Avon River Architect Craig South explores this exciting addition to the central city

It was a day for celebration and discovery when Christchurch’s new City Promenade opened on 25 November with a scavenger hunt, live music, face painting and eel feeding
A few weeks before the official opening I was lucky enough to be invited on a tour of the new waterfront on the north side of Te Papa Ōtakaro/Avon River between Christchurch Hospital and Manchester

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Savouring the Kiwi summer

Architect Craig South looks forward to the Christmas break and celebrates the Kiwi holiday tradition of sharing good times with friends and family

It always feels like a sprint in the lead-up to Christmas, with so much to organise in such a short time No wonder we all need a holiday at the end of it!

Whether it’s a staycation at home, a holiday at a campground in a tent or campervan, or a motel, bach or crib getaway, most New Zealanders will be looking forward to enjoying some well-deserved time

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A positive way forward

Architect Craig South suggests a new campaign promoting Christchurch’s spirit of exploration is a good fit with the city’s past and its current culture of innovation

Christchurch has come a long way since the earthquakes, but we have yet to attract enough people to the city to get it really humming

Not everyone will agree on how this is to be done, but ChristchurchNZ has certainly front footed the challenge this month by launching a new promotional campaign Called The Christchurch Story, it invites newcomers ‘to explore the opportunity’ available in

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Embracing our accessible city

Architect Craig South takes a look at how Christchurch’s growing cycle and pedestrian infrastructure is poised to transform the city’s future

Part of the vision for the Christchurch rebuild was to create a city that would be safer, cleaner and easier to access Most Cantabrians agree with that in principle, while still commuting to work every day in private motor vehicles that pollute the environment and clog up roads Maybe it’s time to rethink how we travel in and out of the city

I’m optimistic this will happen as people begin

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Protecting your home investment

In the wake of another big building firm collapse, architect Craig South offers insights on safeguarding your home for the future

For those preparing to make one of the biggest investments of their lives, building a new home, it must be terrifying to read about the failures of building companies which go into receivership on a regular basis

How do you protect yourself against this kind of risk and other potential perils when planning for your future nest?

Investing in a new home is such a huge undertaking Many people will only

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Puzzle turning to promise in central city

Architect Craig South reviews progress on the Christchurch rebuild and finds a city on the cusp of an exciting future

Christchurch has waited six years for the 100 day blueprint to come off the plan and deliver on its promise, but the new CBD revealed in that blueprint is now moving much closer

The plan laid out by the Christchurch Central Development Unit (CCDU) in 2012 was a bold one, based on a vision of the city’s future produced by the Christchurch City Council in consultation with the public through the

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Creating a Central Community

Can the quiet cul-de-sac exist in the central city?

Architect Craig South believes it can as he explores what we might be missing in our central city neighbourhood

There is a common misconception that living in the center of a city, especially residing in an apartment complex, means you forgo the sense of community that is often found living in a quiet cul-de-sac However, this doesn’t have to be the case And, with a little planning and focus, our central city can become a united, diverse community, equaling even the most

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Enduring Architecture

Architect Craig South explores the positive impact quality, well-considered design can have on a family’s future

After recently catching up with clients who are still living in their home 10 years after it was designed, the importance of well-considered design was abundantly clear When we were designing the Brown House, all those years ago, they were a young family with two small boys and another on the way, they had never built before and didn’t have a clear picture of what they wanted But they knew how they wanted to

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A New Approach To An Old Problem

Architect Craig South explores an alternative to the norm when it comes to central city living

Architecture is typically viewed as a whole – the exterior lines, the internal layout and the fit-out And while it is all of that, if we were to strip it back to a considered shell, we have what is known as Naked Architecture A term being used overseas to describe buildings that are being designed and built with no preconceived ideas around their internal layout and use Buildings that the end-user is able to

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A Missing Layer

As our city continues to strive forward in its rebuild, architect Cymon Allfrey questions whether we are building a city without substance  

As you walk the streets of any central city you notice and engage with the buildings that stand out, that ignite a reaction, that have character Yet if we peel back the layers, of any city, it is the buildings that pose no real architectural interest or value that are the ones which add the greatest character to the city

They are the ones that bring diversity of

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Medium-Density Housing – Is It For Us?

Architect Cymon Allfrey offers an insight into why we need to rethink how we live and embrace a new style of home

Medium density housing in New Zealand has been defined by the Ministry for the Environment as ‘comprehensive developments including four or more dwellings with an average density of less than 350m2 per unit It can include stand-alone dwellings, semi-attached, terraced housing or apartments, within a building of four storeys or less’

With the quarter acre Kiwi dream no longer viable within most of our cities, we need to reconsider

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Beyond the Foreground

When it comes to building, only a small portion of homeowners are turning to a design professional to realize their dreams Architect Cymon Allfrey questions why the value an architect can bring to a project is so easily dismissed 

February saw internationally renowned Ghanaian-British architect Sir David Adjaye come to our shores Knighted for being one of the leading architects of his generation and a global cultural ambassador for the UK, he is recognised as a ‘world of influence in architecture’ Yet in a radio interview with one of our

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Unforeseen Casualties

As a different set of cracks begin to show, architect Cymon Allfrey reflects on Christchurch six years since the February quakes

This time of year brings with it reflection on the recovery and rebuild of our city, and its people In the days, weeks, months and first few years following the February 22 earthquake we worked our way through a period of recovery; before moving into a period of rebuilding

The fallout of the earthquakes left no stone unturned, no one was left unaffected and for a long time the devastation

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A Breath of Fresh Air

Put your walking shoes on, and explore the inner city this summer Architect Cymon Allfrey shares his must-walk route

The end of one year, and the beginning of the next is always a time to reflect on what has been and look forward to what is to come When it comes to our cityscape and built environment the best way to do this is by foot In past years I have suggested this is done following key roads, from one building to another This year however the route is dictated

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The Perfect Recipe

Architect Cymon Allfrey questions whether the pressures of a post-quake environment is changing the design process

What makes one home more interesting than another? The specific property, raising this train of thought is an award-winning home we designed here in Christchurch, which has gained both local and international attention It got me thinking: why this home, and not others?

From the outset this property was special The site was well orientated for the sun, boasted fantastic established planting and was private and peaceful, despite being on a waterway

As well as the

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Learning to Love and Appreciate

Architect Cymon Allfrey explains why we should sow the seed, and let the wasteland that is earmarked to be our future Stadium earn its place in our hearts 

There were a number of initiatives that were undertaken to generate the vision of our central city They offered an opportunity for us to have our say and from these initiatives, and the subsequent blueprint for a post-quake Christchurch, emerged anchor projects Large scale public buildings that will bring opportunity and activity to the city

However, these anchor projects have divided the public

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The space in between

Having recently returned from Italy and the Venice Architectural Biennale, Architect Cymon Allfrey is questioning whether we need to be thinking outside of the box when it comes to our urban spaces 

Offering an international platform on which to experience architecture as a built environment, the La Biennale di Venzia, or the Venice Biennale, is a forum of education and inspiration For my colleague, and I, it was a forum which added a third dimension to the glossy pictures, web-based seminars and articles that we typically refer to

The curated exhibition

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Activating the edges

With the cluster of buildings surrounding the Square – each aligned with enjoyment and gathering – this is a space to watch!

As you all know, I am a passionate advocator for the Town Hall restoration Viewing photos of the work being completed inspired my thinking about that area of Christchurch and the extensive development being undertaken, and about to start

The grid layout of our inner city streets is an important aspect of our history and one that we need to retain and embrace As a combined area, it is

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The South Frame

Architect Cymon Allfrey takes a walk through the proposed South Frame, leaving him excited about this development 

As we zig-zagged our way through empty sections, demolition, car yards and new building sites, we could see the vision begin to unfold

Identified as playing a crucial role in creating a greener, better connected central city, the South Frame is set to be comprised of four large interconnected areas designed to create space for events, performances, public art and markets Covering three blocks it links the Innovation and Health precincts and is bordered

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Award winning: what does it really mean?

With the architectural award season upon us, architect Cymon Allfrey asks whether the public really agree with the judges

Celebrating architecture is something we should be undertaking as a community: something that should be driven by the individuals, and general public, who experience the building on a daily basis So why do we only celebrate architecture within programmes that dovetail directly into organised societies goals and objectives?

From the Canterbury Heritage Awards to the New Zealand Architecture awards, there are numerous programmes that celebrate successful buildings’, be they residential or commercial

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It’s what’s on the inside that counts

Architect Cymon Allfrey shares his thoughts on why we should be looking inward when it comes to architecture

Architecture is not simply about being shiny and new, it is about well-crafted, well-organised spaces that enhance living, not limit it For many however, architecture is only considered as an external benefit, as a tool that has been utilised to craft a well orientated, well dressed ‘shell’ of a structure on a site And it is often not until you step inside the ‘shell’ and are able to appreciate the space within,

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It doesn’t have to be love at first sight

Architect Cymon Allfrey reflects on why one day we will look back and recognise that what we have achieved is a unique style of architecture, just for us

There are a number of varying opinions around the aesthetic quality of the architecture that is emerging in our post quake commercial environment Love it or hate it, it is a developing cityscape that tells a unique story And is shaping an architectural style that is ours, and ours alone

In Christchurch, we have several factors influencing our built landscape, factors which go

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How protected are you?

What would happen if your builder went into receivership part way through your build? Architect Cymon Allfrey explores the possibility of proportionate liability insurance

Watching the news around Stonewood Homes unfold has captivated many in the construction sector While they aren’t the first, and sadly won’t be the last to go into receivership, as a big player in the industry it will be interesting to see how this will impact the market as a whole

For those home builders affected, the Registered Master Builders Association were quick to assure

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City living

As the designer of The Verve Apartments on Peterborough Street, architect Cymon Allfrey explains why our thinking needs to change when it comes to inner city living 

From an architectural perspective, apartment living is about blending the convenience of central amenities with the requirements of a typical suburban home Bringing the two together can be a challenge

With a high level of off-site amenity comes another layer of complexities, the most notable being a ‘compromised’ form of privacy, as with apartment living comes shared spaces In their simplest form they are

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Five years on

As we reflect on the last five years, Architect Cymon Allfrey asks us to look forward – is our greatest challenge yet to come?

Towards the end of last year I was asked to present at the Architectural Designers New Zealand (ADNZ) conference about how we, as a design community, responded to the events of 04 September 2010 and 22 February 2011 Centered on the days and weeks immediately after these events unfolded, the presentation was designed to provide an insight into Christchurch at that time As a lead-in to

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Street appeal

Street art could be described as an art movement in its infancy but what is most exciting is that Christchurch is becoming its international centre Architect Cymon Allfrey explains

Throughout the rebuild, and particularly in the last eighteen months as the soul of the city returns, we have talked about how our city can make its mark How we can be special, and stand apart from others Street-art is one of those ways

For George Shaw his obsession with street-art began with the simple act of buying a t-shirt

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