‘Breathe’ challenged architects & designers internationally to design and build a new place for living in the earthquake affected centre of Christchurch, NZ. The challenge was to develop a concept for medium density living – a new urban village that provides a variety of housing options and lifestyle choices based on sustainability, innovation and a strong sense of community. First Light worked to develop and visualise the design of Kessel w. McKay.
Meaning “beam of light, now” or “new dawn, today”, the Maori term “Haeata Ao” was chosen in consultation with a Ngāi Tahu artist and designer to best reflect the sentiment which drove this design for a new urban village.
Haeata Ao captures the project team’s core philosophy of creating a medium-density, urban residential complex that integrates Ngāi Tahu urban design principles to breathe new life into Christchurch.
Based on the key principles of sustainability, affordability, innovation and a strong sense of community Haeata Ao seeks to help regenerate Christchurch by proposing an attractive urban design for residential housing that embraces the city’s long-term strategic goals, changing demographics, commitment to ‘green’ building principles, and desire to attract investment.
At the same time Haeata Ao showcases cutting edge structural design in the form of base isolation, and durable building materials such as locally produced concrete, both of which ensure adaptability and resilience in relation to climate change and natural hazards.
The fresh and functional housing options and lifestyle choices offered by Haeata Ao will inspire and motivate a new generation of residents into a vibrant city centre for a brighter and more prosperous future.