Finalist: David Cook
Reclaiming the Lost City by David Cook, Unitec Department of Architecture.
This work addresses the historical pieces of architecture that have survived the Christchurch earthquake. What happens to these remaining fragments of history? The earthquakes have presented Christchurch with an opportunity to build a central city with new and exciting buildings, but what is to become of the surviving fragments of Christchurch’s architectural history? This project looks for the balance between responding to both the past and the future. Above all, it explores how a theatre project inserted between the ruined façades of old buildings might revitalise the city. This civic gesture invites people back into the city with an architecture that connects to their senses and memories.
This design for a civic arts space is a thoughtful response to some of the questions now facing Christchurch. Using materials lovingly rescued from earthquake rubble, a centrally placed oculus acts as a symbol of light and hope. The spirit of preservation embodied by the project provides an alternative to wholesale demolition.