Collaborations on creative concepts

Since 2012, the Council has been collaborating with Victoria University School of Architecture and Heritage New Zealand on projects looking at architectural solutions for the city.

Examples of creative concepts for earthquake-safe architecture, and people viewing scale models of these examples.

2015 – Courtenay Place

In November 2015, the project focussed on buildings in Courtenay Place and Manners/ Dixon Streets between Taranaki and Cuba Street – the Courtenay Precinct.
Fourth-year students from Victoria University School of Architecture investigated and developed plans for urban renewal, earthquake strengthening buildings, and how to protect the city's heritage places to help retain them for future generations.

The students designed seismic retrofitting schemes for almost all the buildings in the Courtenay Precinct. They also prepared urban designs to explore what Courtenay Place might look like in 2035. 

An exhibition featuring a model of Courtenay Place accompanied by images of designs rethinking the area and how we approach heritage architecture in New Zealand was on display on the ground floor of Reading Courtenay from Tuesday 3 November to Friday 6 November. 

Property owners and the public can access the student’s seismic retrofitting reports through the School of Architecture library.

2014 – Newtown

In 2014, Newtown got a glimpse of what its future could look like thanks to the project by Victoria University’s School of Architecture, in partnership with the Council and Heritage New Zealand.

About 70 fourth-year students explored architectural and structural engineering approaches to improving the earthquake resilience of buildings and urban qualities around Newtown, Berhampore and the shopping centre on John Street.

Council’s heritage team worked closely with the School of Architecture, supported by Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga and the Newtown Business Group on the project, with building plans from the Council’s City Archives forming the basis of the students’ work.

The students presented a possible vision for the future of the area in the form of architectural designs, models and technical reports – the project was shown to the public at a meeting in Newtown in November 2014. 

2012 – Cuba Street

The book [RE]Cuba is a collection of architecture design solutions for heritage buildings in Cuba Street, integrating seismic retrofitting techniques.

The project involved fourth-year Victoria University students developing concept plans for 70 heritage buildings in Cuba Street, showing how the buildings could be strengthened.

As a result of this project, the students created an overall design concept for the street.

Work on this project began in 2012. The aim of the project was to show how the heritage Cuba Street area might look in 2035. The students' work was supervised by practising structural engineers and architects.

Read about the case studies illustrating the students' design solutions in the book by Mark Southcombe and Andrew Charleson:

[Re]Cuba (23.6MB PDF)

These projects were developed in partnership with:

  • Victoria University of Wellington Schools of Architecture and Design;
  • Heritage New Zealand; and
  • Cuba Street building owners.