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NZ What architecture students are dreaming of

Property Here - Friday, April 05, 2013

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A student architecture competition includes a plan for Christchurch Cathedral to be "reconstructed"and its roof line again made visible.

Duncan Harding of Victoria University's faculty of architecture and design won an Institute of Architects award for his computer-designed plans for the Anglican cathedral, which is rebuilt to express the original process of construction.

Check out some of the student designs here.

The scheme is a final-year project by Mr Harding which the judges described as "forensic reconstruction, delving into reportage from nineteenth century newspapers to use text to put the cathedral back together again".

Arnika Blount of Unitec's department of architecture won an award for her Wunderkammer subterranean world on the site of the Auckland Domain reservoir beside the Auckland War Memorial Museum.

She drew on a Renaissance tradition to display natural history and ethnographic objects and produced a highly resolved scheme for a new underground world.

The Institute of Architects has produced a booklet showing the work of all 24 fifth-year students who entered the awards, sponsored by Graphisoft.

John Walsh, institute communications manager in Auckland, said the projects were extremely imaginative and showed high skill levels.

"All are unbuilt. If they can't dream when they're students, when can they? But some are more possible than others. I love the Domain project, because that reservoir is there," he said of Arnika Blount's work.

Kathryn Collins of Unitec's department of architecture designed a new railway station in Auckland, opposite the Mercury Theatre - a scheme actually planned as part of the Central City Link project, although no building plans have yet been launched. The judges praised this scheme, saying it retained some of an original building's theatricality.

Grace Mills of Victoria University designed a new agora (public open space) in a Christchurch maritime suburb and Josephine de Guzman of Victoria designed a proposed winery in the Te Muna valley near Martinborough in the Wairarapa.

The hand-drawn graphics were described by the judges as being skilfully combined with computer renderings to produce a highly evocative architectural scenario.

The institute says the awards have been running for more than 10 years.