Christchurch’s grand designs

Cover TV3 on a Thursday finds me glued to the box awaiting Kevin McCloud, and his Grand Designs. I never miss it. Mr McCloud’s dulcet tones mixed with a hints of sarcasm and a good doses of scepticism keep me riveted as I watch impossibly adventurous houses being built or renovated by their often eccentric owners. There is something about architecture and everything we invest in a new building that is akin to a great soap opera. The drama, love, failure and thwarted dreams is compelling.

CoverPerhaps this is why as Christchurch people we are so interested in the buildings we are losing as well as what lies ahead. Our homes and our public structures represent what we stand for, what we publicly want to show the world about our taste, our dreams and what we represent as individuals and as a city.

The library website has some great guides outlining the architecture of Christchurch as well as overseas. One of my favourite links is to Christchurch modern. This is a blog that has done a tremendous job collecting images and information about  houses that have been built within a modernist tradition, many of which have been lost during the earthquakes. I hadn’t realised that Christchurch had quite such style in this respect. It is also worth checking out the Flickr link to Hum-dingers of the grid city.

5 thoughts on “Christchurch’s grand designs

  1. purplerulz 12 April 2012 / 5:14 pm

    I’m a fan of Grand Designs too. I am constantly amazed by the scale of some of these projects, how cavelier people are with their money (or the banks!) and often how mad the end result is! The best I think was one I saw on one of the Library’s Grand Design DVD’s where they converted an old power station thatwas immense and it was a horrific task but a stunning end result!
    It does make me determined never to build myself!

  2. keenanj 13 April 2012 / 9:09 am

    Last nights show was particularly epic I thought. Huge huge place, completely mad but stunning. LIked the idea of the shale wall with the heating pipes inside, it became a heating conduit for the house. I have recently borrowed Kevin Mccouds book on colour as our place is soon going to be fixed up. His sense of colour is nearly as good as his ironic glances at the camera as he casts doubt on someones craszy ideas.

    • purplerulz 13 April 2012 / 10:58 am

      I know it did look amazing, but I do feel that getting $1 million pounds in debt to build such a huge house for 4 people to live in isn’t perhaps the best use of the world’s resources! I also felt sorry for his wife, living in a buidling site and keeping things going for so long!

  3. Marion 13 April 2012 / 2:38 pm

    I love Christchurch Modern. I wonder how many of those houses fared in the quakes. Kevin certainly finds some obsessed people. I love many of the country locations they have for their homes, although not all the houses make the most of the views in my humble opinion.

    • keenanj 19 April 2012 / 1:50 pm

      The website I mentioned has photos of many of the ChCh modern houses and also some information as to how they fared in the earthquakes. Some sadly did not do too well.

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