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Christchurch centre designed to recognise Maori influence

Riverside venue will seat 1,400 in largest space

An artist's impression of the new centre

International architects Woods Bagot have observed the powerful Maori influences around the picturesque Otakaro Avon River, when they designed the new Christchurch convention centre on New Zealand’s South Island, timed to open in late 2019.

Stories of the local Maori people are interwoven through every aspect of the design which reflects the fluid curves of the South Island’s braided rivers. The architects worked closely with Maori cultural advisers, Matapopore Charitable Trust, on the layout, designed to allow for ‘seamless transitions’ between spaces and sessions.

General Manager Rob McIntyre said the convention centre, surrounded by green spaces, parks and gardens, will be a ‘dream space’ for organisers and delegates, designed with a distinctive South Island flavour. 

“We have studied the best practice worldwide and designed purpose-built boutique facilities around the way our clients work, creating seamless transitions between spaces and sessions,” he said. “The venue will be responsive to a wide range of event requirements for up to 2,000 delegates, all within easy walking distance of city hotels.”
The tiered 1,400-delegate auditorium can be scaled to allow up to three events to run concurrently and is complemented by break-out spaces. The banqueting area is large enough to hold the total number of convention delegates. An exhibition hall of 3,600 sqm supports the exhibition component of conventions.
Christchurch is New Zealand’s second largest city, home to world-class universities, Crown research facilities, start-up accelerators, and specialist innovation and health precincts.
Rob McIntyre added: “Here we can bring together people from all over the world with interests in Christchurch’s specialist areas of expertise, including earth sciences, health sciences, agriculture, food science, international education, building and environmental technology.”
The Christchurch Centre is a New Zealand Government project managed by Accor and space has been created for the potential construction of a hotel.


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