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A culture of design: Ōtākaro Design Build


Tautahi is the name of the Māori chief after whom our city of Christchurch takes its name. In his time, children played on the banks of the Avon (Ōtākaro) River as their elders gathered food (mahinga kai). It is this connection with the city’s Māori heritage that is central to the mission of the twin companies – Ōtākaro Design and Build and Ngātahi Real Estate.

 

 

“Our two companies were established to create beautiful real estate together,” says designer and salesperson Kian Clements-Ormond, who co-owns Ōtākaro with Calvin Kent.

“Calvin oversees the construction side of the business,” says Kian. “And although we are relatively new to the market, in that short time we have both gained a real understanding of what clients want in their homes. In particular that is spacious open plan living designed for the sun and seamlessly linking to the outdoors.”

So attractive to buyers have Ōtākaro’s homes proved that the company has over thirty houses either already under construction or about to be built.

“If you don’t design liveable, workable spaces, houses will not sell.”

In keeping with the company’s distinctive brand and Kian’s own tribal links, each house design has a significant Māori name. Tamahine (daughter), Timatanga (beginning), Piwari (to be beautiful) and Tuahine (sisterhood) are just some special examples.

Clients are free to make changes to the designs to suit their individual lifestyles or they can create a new design at no extra cost.

The use of natural materials – timber and stone – is a constant feature across many of Ōtākaro’s designs, as is their strong connection to the land they are sited in.

The company’s showhome in Marshlands, open by appointment, is a stunning example of this design philosophy with its cedar and schist exterior cladding, the use of timber internally for ceilings and doors, as well as granite benchtops in the kitchen, laundry and bathrooms.

Stylish botanical-themed wallpapers complete the look in the living areas and bedrooms. The total effect is spectacular.

Ōtākaro’s homes and house and land packages are marketed exclusively by Ngātahi Real Estate run by Hayden McKenzie. “We aim to show clients how good it is to buy a new home. We believe people like the link we emphasise about our nation’s roots, about what New Zealand really is.”

You can view many of Ōtākaro Design and Build’s homes on the company’s Facebook page or on Kian Clements-Ormond – Ngātahi Real Estate Facebook page.


 

 

The Influencers: John Bridgman


Ōtākaro Limited
Chief Executive

Because Ōtākaro Limited was born out of the response to a natural disaster, we’ve never lived in a “business as usual” environment.

This inherent agility has enabled us to continue to make good progress on Christchurch’s Anchor Projects in a year that ranks right up there with the most unusual the world has known.

To regain momentum, contractors got back to work post-lockdown quickly, successfully implementing social distancing measures on sites where nationalities and languages are as numerous as the façade tiles on Te Pae.

This rapid return to work allowed us to keep funnelling millions of dollars into the community through a nervous construction sector, at a time when many people were worrying about their jobs.

So, while the doors may not have swung open at the convention centre this year as planned, it has still served us well.

This year the Metro Sports Facility has sprung out of the ground.

It’s a towering steel skeleton reminding all who travel along Moorhouse Ave that Christchurch will be home to one of the country’s top sports and recreation facilities.

The South Frame is now close to 90 percent complete and 95 percent of the first 172 homes in the East Frame have been sold.

There’s also a 100 percent chance the award-winning Te Papa Ōtākaro/Avon River Precinct will be finished next year, when we open the North Frame pedestrian bridge.

So even though it may be through a mask, there has still been plenty of progress to smile about this year.
Happy holidays.


 

The Influencers: John Bridgman


Ōtākaro Limited Chief Executive

From many parts of the city, and even from the Port Hills, you can now clearly make out the white steel skeleton of what will be the Metro Sports Facility.

Some very big bones were added recently, in the form of the roof trusses for the 2500-seat show court.

The roof is made up of four sections, each of which weighs as much as about 33 cars and has a span close to half the length of a rugby field.

Unsurprisingly, getting these giant steel sections into place to the millimetre was a delicate operation, and it’s just a taste of what’s to come as we create the largest sports and recreation facility of its kind in New Zealand.

These roof sections required one of the big cranes to lift them into place.

The spans over the ten pools will require two cranes to work in tandem.

The 12 metre ceiling height of the show court space is to meet the requirements for hosting the likes of top-level basketball and netball fixtures at the facility.

The grandstand seats will be retractable, to reveal two more courts that can then be used for community competitions.

That’s alongside the six other indoor courts at the southern end of the site, near Moorhouse Avenue.

The sheer size and adaptability of this anchor project we’re delivering are key elements in allowing a wide range of people to reap the benefits of being active.


 

The Influencers: John Bridgman


Ōtākaro Limited Chief Executive

We’re about to let pedestrians, cyclists and scooter riders onto the latest section of the South Frame’s greenway to be completed, between Durham and Montreal Streets.
Completion of the work in this block means you will be able to get from Colombo to Montreal Streets on this new garden-lined laneway, away from the traffic on Tuam or St Asaph Streets which flank it.
Taking this journey will, however, draw your attention to the few sections of the South Frame still to be completed. The great news on that front is that all the agreements with the relevant landowners are now in place to allow Ōtākaro to finish this anchor project.
This includes Butchers Lane, near Dux Central, which will create a layout for the area similar to that surrounding the ever-popular Little High Eatery. We hope the design encourages a similar style of private development in this area.
Private and public spaces will also come together when the section of the greenway to the west of the ECan building is created. Here the laneway will effectively run though the Team Hutchinson Ford building, with the owners retaining the heritage roof over the top.
Our successful divestment of the Odeon Theatre and Lawrie & Wilson Auctioneers sites in the South Frame to ECan recently will also lead to additional activity in this ever-growing green space.


 

John Bridgman

The Influencers: John Bridgman


Ōtākaro Limited Chief Executive

It seems the recent extended stay within the confines of our own homes has led many people to consider whether the grass might be greener over by Rauora Park, where Fletcher Living is experiencing a surge in interest in its One Central homes, post-lockdown.

Of the 172 homes currently on offer, ranging from one-bedroom apartments through to four-bedroom townhouses, 100 have now been sold.

As the number of residents has grown, so has the sense of community. Many people are notably excited by the fact they will be living on the doorstep of the Canterbury Multi-Use Arena, with its All Blacks and big acts.

With more than half of the existing homes now sold, Ōtākaro and Fletcher Living are in the thick of working out what comes next, but rest assured the future development sites will not be sitting idle.

In August, Fletcher Living’s placemaking partner, Gap Filler, will be holding the Good Vibes Winter Festival in the area, which will be followed by the A&P City Farm in November and, naturally, a Christmas Carnival in December.

Add to the mix record low home loan rates and the next few months offer a great opportunity to scope out what living in central Christchurch looks like. And let’s face it, any excuse to get
out of the house these days is a welcome one.


 

A garden you can eat


The Garden City will soon become an edible garden city with construction of the Ōtākaro Orchard back underway.

 

 

The orchard will include a food forest, an edible garden, educational and event spaces, a local food information centre, an outdoor amphitheatre, dome greenhouse and a café.

After construction commenced in June 2019, foundations were laid and above-ground structural steel work began on the Cambridge Terrace site. Activity paused when the project hit a funding roadblock that September.

A scaled-back version of the project resumed last month following a $150,000 lottery grant and is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Once completed, the orchard will include a food forest and free edible garden, educational and event spaces, a local food information centre, an outdoor amphitheatre, dome greenhouse and a café.

The site will also feature composting toilets, a green roof, and storm water retention and recycling system for irrigation.

“The photo voltaic solar array will have to wait at this stage, but we will make sure that the building is solar ready so that it can be added without fuss at a future time – hopefully during construction as support and excitement grows,” Chair of the Ōtākaro Orchard Project Control Group Murray James says.

He says there is an approximately $120,000 funding shortfall, which the board hopes to bridge with donations and “assistance from the construction supply chain”.

“The team is pleased that within our substantially lowered budget we have been able to retain many of the sustainable and exemplar feature that were part of the original design,” he says.

The Ōtākaro Orchard is a project of the Food Resilience Network, an organisation centred around the philosophy of creating accessible and sustainable food sources.

The project emerged from the council’s post-earthquake Share an Idea campaign, which invited locals to submit concepts for a rebuilt central city.


 

The Influencers: John Bridgman


 

Ōtākaro Limited Chief Executive

Between Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre and the Metro Sports Facility alone, Ōtākaro has been pumping around $15m a month into the construction sector, on behalf of the Government.

Pre-lockdown, around 600 people were active across both sites and we’re continually working to get back to that level, while maintaining safe working distances.

When you consider these numbers and how that money then flows onto the suppliers of parts and materials, that’s a lot of people receiving a pay packet each week because of these infrastructure projects.

They put Canterbury in a strong position when it comes to economic recovery, as these projects aren’t just ‘shovel ready’, they’re out of the ground.

Construction work will now be carrying on at Te Pae Christchurch into the new year and work at the Metro Sports Facility is back near full capacity.

Alongside these projects, work on the South Frame is back underway and the North Frame pedestrian bridge construction is ramping up.

Our friends at Fletcher Living will also have work going on at One Central for several years. These projects all put money directly into the hands that swing the hammers.

It’s a skilled workforce supported by a wide range of design, legal and finance professionals, that can look forward to being busy for a long time in this region with the likes of the Canterbury Arena and Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor on the horizon.

There may also be other local projects the Government opts to support to help our economy bounce back from COVID-19.


 

The Influencers: John Bridgman


Ōtākaro Limited Chief Executive

On a recent Saturday morning, walking to the Canterbury Earthquake Memorial service, I was struck by the importance of ‘people spaces’ to our central city.

A space like Worcester Boulevard, which existed before the quakes, connects the river and city centre at one end with the Christchurch Art Gallery, Museum, Botanic Gardens and the Arts Centre. On this mild, Saturday morning it was bustling with visitors and locals alike, many bound for Electric Avenue.

Along the Avon River Precinct, people were sitting on the leafy inclines of the riverbank. On the adjacent City Promenade, which is probably the most popular amenity we have completed to-date, a steady flow of cyclists, pedestrians and joggers were making use of this pleasant new central thoroughfare.

Heading upstream, I started to hear the buzz of the vibrant new Riverside Market, where happy diners were enjoying brunch in the sun on the seating that spills out onto the Promenade.

Contrast that with the sombre but serene feeling of the Canterbury Earthquake Memorial, where I was honoured to place a wreath.

Together with the grassy, tree-lined north bank side of the memorial, this is a great space to both sit and reflect, and for our city to host large, commemorative events.

My team at Ōtākaro is really proud of these ‘people spaces’ we are building in central Christchurch.

Clearly these places, where we get to experience the whole gamut of emotions, are important to us.


 

John Bridgman

John Bridgman: The Influencers


Many of us have spent much of the past few weeks staring at rugby fields as the World Cup rolls on.

 

Ōtākaro Limited Chief Executive

Put two of these fields side by side and you’ve got an area similar to that covered by the Metro Sports Facility, which we currently have under construction.

We’re now into the thick of the foundation concrete pours on the site that will support the nine indoor courts and the competition, diving and leisure pools.

In total, the project will require around 16,000m3 of concrete and 3700 tonnes of structural steel to build. That’s only slightly less than our other major project, Te Pae, which everyone can clearly see is a substantial central city building.

Once all the foundations are poured for the Metro Sports Facility, people travelling along Moorhouse Avenue and St Asaph Street will start seeing the structural steel going up early next year.

We know that thousands of people will visit, and dozens of events will be held at the Metro Sports Facility each year once the doors are open, providing an economic boost for the city. But it’s worth remembering the build itself is also doing that, with over 300 people expected to be working on the site at the height of construction.

That’s a big team, doing an important job, but I appreciate it’s not the main sporting fixture we’re all focused on at the moment.

 

 

 

 


 

Riverside Farmers’ Market comes to life


“We have lived and breathed this project for three years. To see it come to fruition, looking and feeling just as we imagined it, is far more than simply satisfying. It is absolutely thrilling. Now we want the people of Christchurch to love it too.”

 

 

Richard Peebles, Mike Percasky and Kris Inglis – the men behind High St Lanes and Little High Eatery – witnessed the opening of their latest development, the Riverside Farmers’ Market in Christchurch’s city centre, on Monday 30 September.

“We had heard a great deal from overseas about the growth phenomenon that is urban farmers’ markets. Selling local growers’ and producers’ fresh products locally has become a worldwide trend based on the ethics of sustainability and the need to reduce food miles and our carbon footprint. There is a superb example of this concept in Copenhagen that we researched and that convinced us Christchurch was right for a similar venture.”

 

PHOTO: CHRISTCHURCHNZ

 

A development of the scale envisioned right in the heart of the city would not have been possible without the availability of a suitable site. The one viewed as optimal by the property investors was at the intersection of Cashel Mall and Oxford Terrace, occupied by the Container Mall. “This was the beginning of a long process of convincing the right people of the viability of our vision and of eventually negotiating to purchase the site from Ōtākaro Ltd, the Crown-owned company delivering the central city anchor projects.”

 

PHOTO: CHRISTCHURCHNZ

 

An initial concept design with 3D modelling by John Ayres of Creative Studios, Christchurch architectural designers, was modified and tweaked several times. That, along with irrefutable evidence of the benefits of farmers’ markets presented by the three indefatigable partners of the Peebles Group, eventually won the day and the concept could begin to transform into reality. “We demonstrated how much this development could contribute to the regeneration of the central city, to the engagement of Christchurch citizens and to the activation of the entire area.”

 

 

The result is a stunning complex of four buildings interconnected by lanes leading from the Avon River through to Ballantynes. It includes a 3,500 square metre farmers’ market with about 70 vendors and food stalls, as well as laneways with boutique retail businesses. “The complex has a rustic and heritage vibe, reflecting the history of the city and deliberately incorporating recycled materials – rimu, bricks, iron-bark wharf timber, windows, 100-year old wallpaper and even two faces of the clock from the Moorhouse Ave railway station.”

 

PHOTO: CHRISTCHURCHNZ

 

The investors acknowledge that the project could not have eventuated in the way it did without the input of all the consulting firms – DCM Urban Design, Creative Studios, Kirk Roberts, Bonisch Consultants, Novo Group, Holmes Fire, Kirkcaldie Interiors, ThompsonCo, White Associates and the main contractor Consortium Construction. “We have entrusted these specialists with previous developments and once again they have delivered.”

 

PHOTO: CHRISTCHURCHNZ

 

Richard, Mike and Kris want the complex to become the heart of the city, to attract people into town and to keep them there. It won’t be a place purely to buy food and to eat it; it will be a hub, attracting festivals, choirs and events and hosting musicians and handicraft vendors. “We think it is set to become Christchurch’s number one tourist attraction.”