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A Missing Layer


As our city continues to strive forward in its rebuild, architect Cymon Allfrey questions whether we are building a city without substance  

As you walk the streets of any central city you notice and engage with the buildings that stand out, that ignite a reaction, that have character Yet if we peel back the layers, of any city, it is the buildings that pose no real architectural interest or value that are the ones which add the greatest character to the city

They are the ones that bring diversity of

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Medium-Density Housing – Is It For Us?


Architect Cymon Allfrey offers an insight into why we need to rethink how we live and embrace a new style of home

Medium density housing in New Zealand has been defined by the Ministry for the Environment as ‘comprehensive developments including four or more dwellings with an average density of less than 350m2 per unit It can include stand-alone dwellings, semi-attached, terraced housing or apartments, within a building of four storeys or less’

With the quarter acre Kiwi dream no longer viable within most of our cities, we need to reconsider

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Beyond the Foreground


When it comes to building, only a small portion of homeowners are turning to a design professional to realize their dreams Architect Cymon Allfrey questions why the value an architect can bring to a project is so easily dismissed 

February saw internationally renowned Ghanaian-British architect Sir David Adjaye come to our shores Knighted for being one of the leading architects of his generation and a global cultural ambassador for the UK, he is recognised as a ‘world of influence in architecture’ Yet in a radio interview with one of our

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Unforeseen Casualties


As a different set of cracks begin to show, architect Cymon Allfrey reflects on Christchurch six years since the February quakes

This time of year brings with it reflection on the recovery and rebuild of our city, and its people In the days, weeks, months and first few years following the February 22 earthquake we worked our way through a period of recovery; before moving into a period of rebuilding

The fallout of the earthquakes left no stone unturned, no one was left unaffected and for a long time the devastation

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A Breath of Fresh Air


Put your walking shoes on, and explore the inner city this summer Architect Cymon Allfrey shares his must-walk route

The end of one year, and the beginning of the next is always a time to reflect on what has been and look forward to what is to come When it comes to our cityscape and built environment the best way to do this is by foot In past years I have suggested this is done following key roads, from one building to another This year however the route is dictated

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The Perfect Recipe


Architect Cymon Allfrey questions whether the pressures of a post-quake environment is changing the design process

What makes one home more interesting than another? The specific property, raising this train of thought is an award-winning home we designed here in Christchurch, which has gained both local and international attention It got me thinking: why this home, and not others?

From the outset this property was special The site was well orientated for the sun, boasted fantastic established planting and was private and peaceful, despite being on a waterway

As well as the

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Learning to Love and Appreciate


Architect Cymon Allfrey explains why we should sow the seed, and let the wasteland that is earmarked to be our future Stadium earn its place in our hearts 

There were a number of initiatives that were undertaken to generate the vision of our central city They offered an opportunity for us to have our say and from these initiatives, and the subsequent blueprint for a post-quake Christchurch, emerged anchor projects Large scale public buildings that will bring opportunity and activity to the city

However, these anchor projects have divided the public

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The space in between


Having recently returned from Italy and the Venice Architectural Biennale, Architect Cymon Allfrey is questioning whether we need to be thinking outside of the box when it comes to our urban spaces 

Offering an international platform on which to experience architecture as a built environment, the La Biennale di Venzia, or the Venice Biennale, is a forum of education and inspiration For my colleague, and I, it was a forum which added a third dimension to the glossy pictures, web-based seminars and articles that we typically refer to

The curated exhibition

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Activating the edges


With the cluster of buildings surrounding the Square – each aligned with enjoyment and gathering – this is a space to watch!

As you all know, I am a passionate advocator for the Town Hall restoration Viewing photos of the work being completed inspired my thinking about that area of Christchurch and the extensive development being undertaken, and about to start

The grid layout of our inner city streets is an important aspect of our history and one that we need to retain and embrace As a combined area, it is

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The South Frame


Architect Cymon Allfrey takes a walk through the proposed South Frame, leaving him excited about this development 

As we zig-zagged our way through empty sections, demolition, car yards and new building sites, we could see the vision begin to unfold

Identified as playing a crucial role in creating a greener, better connected central city, the South Frame is set to be comprised of four large interconnected areas designed to create space for events, performances, public art and markets Covering three blocks it links the Innovation and Health precincts and is bordered

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Award winning: what does it really mean?


With the architectural award season upon us, architect Cymon Allfrey asks whether the public really agree with the judges

Celebrating architecture is something we should be undertaking as a community: something that should be driven by the individuals, and general public, who experience the building on a daily basis So why do we only celebrate architecture within programmes that dovetail directly into organised societies goals and objectives?

From the Canterbury Heritage Awards to the New Zealand Architecture awards, there are numerous programmes that celebrate successful buildings’, be they residential or commercial

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It’s what’s on the inside that counts


Architect Cymon Allfrey shares his thoughts on why we should be looking inward when it comes to architecture

Architecture is not simply about being shiny and new, it is about well-crafted, well-organised spaces that enhance living, not limit it For many however, architecture is only considered as an external benefit, as a tool that has been utilised to craft a well orientated, well dressed ‘shell’ of a structure on a site And it is often not until you step inside the ‘shell’ and are able to appreciate the space within,

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It doesn’t have to be love at first sight


Architect Cymon Allfrey reflects on why one day we will look back and recognise that what we have achieved is a unique style of architecture, just for us

There are a number of varying opinions around the aesthetic quality of the architecture that is emerging in our post quake commercial environment Love it or hate it, it is a developing cityscape that tells a unique story And is shaping an architectural style that is ours, and ours alone

In Christchurch, we have several factors influencing our built landscape, factors which go

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How protected are you?


What would happen if your builder went into receivership part way through your build? Architect Cymon Allfrey explores the possibility of proportionate liability insurance

Watching the news around Stonewood Homes unfold has captivated many in the construction sector While they aren’t the first, and sadly won’t be the last to go into receivership, as a big player in the industry it will be interesting to see how this will impact the market as a whole

For those home builders affected, the Registered Master Builders Association were quick to assure

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City living


As the designer of The Verve Apartments on Peterborough Street, architect Cymon Allfrey explains why our thinking needs to change when it comes to inner city living 

From an architectural perspective, apartment living is about blending the convenience of central amenities with the requirements of a typical suburban home Bringing the two together can be a challenge

With a high level of off-site amenity comes another layer of complexities, the most notable being a ‘compromised’ form of privacy, as with apartment living comes shared spaces In their simplest form they are

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Five years on


As we reflect on the last five years, Architect Cymon Allfrey asks us to look forward – is our greatest challenge yet to come?

Towards the end of last year I was asked to present at the Architectural Designers New Zealand (ADNZ) conference about how we, as a design community, responded to the events of 04 September 2010 and 22 February 2011 Centered on the days and weeks immediately after these events unfolded, the presentation was designed to provide an insight into Christchurch at that time As a lead-in to

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Street appeal


Street art could be described as an art movement in its infancy but what is most exciting is that Christchurch is becoming its international centre Architect Cymon Allfrey explains

Throughout the rebuild, and particularly in the last eighteen months as the soul of the city returns, we have talked about how our city can make its mark How we can be special, and stand apart from others Street-art is one of those ways

For George Shaw his obsession with street-art began with the simple act of buying a t-shirt

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