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Timber Industry Out in Force

The timber industry has come out in force to support Peterborough Village with their innovative responses to the task of rebuilding. Deciding to be pro active and collaborative the Peterborough Village Association launched a design competition, titled Mix it Up, late December 2012 that attracted individual timber processors/manufacturers ,and NZ Wood as well as property owners.

Nelson Pine, Xlam, Southern Pine, and NZ Wood along with natural allies Resene, Colorsteel and Prefab NZ have all committed to sponsoring a design completion aimed at uncovering the best solution to a contiguous tract of land containing 4 separate titles and landowners.

Di Lucas, member of the Christchurch Urban Design Panel and force behind the Peterborough Village collective has highlighted the preference for natural materials that reinforce our affinity with the land.

“Our objective is to create a design solution that will connect our resilient community to the city by rethinking the space. We want to encourage day to night activities, liveability and accessibility. We also want to develop in harmony with our natural surroundings – in Christchurch today this means respecting the geotechnical character of the land and ensuring our building footprints sit lightly upon it. Taking all this into account, timber in all its forms is our natural and sustainable building material. Internationally, it’s also an increasingly fashionable material to use. Some beautiful multi-storeyed wooden buildings have recently been built” says Ms Lucas.

The context for the competition makes this clear with reference to:

  1. The Garden City tradition, for which Christchurch has won international acclaim, and its origin within Peterborough Village. Between Kilmore Street and the Avon, substantial native plantings were undertaken from 1896 by the Christchurch Beautifying Association, along with the signature Poplar Avenue along the Avon River which was replanted in 1932.
  2. The forested origins of this land, the city’s tree heritage, the evident resilience of timber through the quakes, South Island’s plantation forest availability, the importance of carbon sequestration for environmental gains and local material use,
  3. Internationally significant timber engineering innovation and design expertise spearheaded by Canterbury University, school of natural and civil engineering which demonstrates the benefits of timber in commercial and structural applications enabling innovative modern designs.


A ‘royal’ moment enabled Ms Lucas to capture the attention of HRH Prince Charles during his visit to Christchurch. A spontaneous briefing occurred and invitation to assist on the judging panel was readily accepted.

Other competition and honorary judges include

  • David Sheppard, NZIA President; town planner and architect, Sheppard & Rout
  • Rewi Thompson, Adjunct Professor of Architecture, Auckland University; Te Aitanga a Hauiti, Ngati Raukawa : Ngarongo te hapu
  • Jacky Bowring, Assoc. Professor of Landscape Architecture, Lincoln University
  • Pamela Bell, CEO PreFab NZ
  • Alistair Cattanach, structural engineer; Director, Dunning Thornton Consultants
  • Aroha Reriti-Crofts CBE JP, Kuia of Te Ngāi o Tūāhuriri Rūnanga

The Mix it Up design competition closes on 28 February, 2013.

 11 January 2013