Christchurch’s new urban waterfront is beginning to take shape with the official opening of the first stage of The Terraces.
The first stage of The Terraces, from Cashel Street to Hereford Street, is the second project to be completed under Ōtākaro, the new Crown-company established to deliver the City’s key anchor projects, in conjunction with the Christchurch City Council.
The Terraces is one of many features that make up Te Papa Ōtākaro/Avon River Precinct.
When completed, 50,000m2 of paved shared space will form a lighted city promenade running along the Oxford Terrace side of the river from the hospital to the Margaret Mahy Family Playground. It’s an area where people can gather, play, shop and dine, and where central city business can flourish. The Cambridge Terrace side of the river will be a green space with walking and cycling paths running alongside the river.
Ōtākaro Chief Executive Albert Brantley says, “The Terraces is an example of how the city’s regeneration objectives can go hand-in-hand with good commercial outcomes. People will be drawn to this waterside location and the options nearby. They can get close to the river, go for a walk to the playground, then enjoy a meal or a drink in one of the central city’s bars or eateries.”
Te Papa Ōtākaro/Avon River Precinct highlights Ngāi Tahu and early European historical sites along its path, particularly through art. This includes the literary steps, one of the 15 literary sculptures that will be installed down the length of Te Papa Ōtākaro/Avon River Precinct’s promenade. The panels display words by prominent authors Apirana Taylor, John Deans, Wiremu Te Uki and David Eggleton. Each of the panels will be located at sites relevant to their texts, for example, poems which refer to particular locations will appear in their vicinity and Ngāi Tahu texts will appear at culturally significant sites.
The promenade also incorporates the Ngā Whāriki Manaaki (stone weaving patterns). Three of 13 panels have now been completed. The concept of Ngā Whāriki Manaaki weaving designs is to depict the protocols of welcome on the marae. They represent the value of caring for manuhiri or visitors and the Whāriki will welcome everyone who is visiting Te Papa Ōtākaro/Avon River Precinct. The Whāriki were designed by Ngāi Tahu weaving artists Reihana Parata and Morehu Flutey-Henare. A group of He Toki civil skills students were invited by Ōtākaro to pave the Whāriki located in the Park of Remembrance. They placed 3557 ceramic pieces across five days to finish the job.
Work on the first stage of The Terraces was carried out by Brian Perry Civil. Construction work began in October 2014. Work on stage two (Litchfield St to Cashel St and Hereford St to Worcester St) will begin later this year.
The Crown is investing $109m in Te Papa Ōtākaro/Avon River Precinct which is on track to be completed at the end of 2017, with incremental stages opening throughout that period.
What is Ōtākaro?
Ōtākaro is a Crown-company that has been established to add value to anchor projects and Crown land in a manner that balances good commercial outcomes with the Crown’s regeneration objectives.
What happens to The Terraces when the river floods?
The Terraces are designed to accommodate the natural fluctuations of the river. During rainfall events the water will flow across the steps in the same way as it does over any steps or terraces beside a water body, and then the water level subsides again. Normal river management measures have been taken to prevent scour and erosion. Detailed hydraulic modelling has also been undertaken to ensure that the terraces do not raise the water level in the river.
What else in Te Papa Ōtākaro/Avon River Precinct has been completed?
• Watermark - This early development site spans the river’s true left bank between Antigua Boatsheds and Montreal Street and provides a glimpse of how other elements will look.
• In-river works carried out to speed up water flow and clean out the silt. Plantings have been done and eel habitats have been constructed to encourage wildlife.
• The Margaret Mahy Family Playground has been an amazing success, and a new punt stop next to the Margaret Mahy Family Playground has been realigned and is now ready to be used by all water craft on the Ōtākaro/Avon River. More equipment is coming soon.
A nationwide call will soon go out for concept designs for the Art Bridge. The bridge will provide a new cycle and pedestrian connection across the Avon River from Victoria Square to the North Frame. This will extend the newly created cycle network within central Christchurch so that more people can easily access the North Frame and navigate safely around the city. The bridge will be designed by a team of artists, designers and craftspeople who will be selected following the national design competition, and who will work alongside mana whenua advisers, engineers and project managers on implementation of the project.