Architectural designs for the new Christchurch Centre were revealed to international event organisers at CINZ MEETINGS 2017 in Auckland.
General manager Rob McIntyre said the convention centre would be a dream space for organisers and delegates, designed with a distinctive South Island flavour.
Designed by international firm Woods Bagot, the Christchurch Centre is expected to be completed by late 2019.
It will have capacity to host up to 2000 delegates for a variety of national and international events. It will include a 1400 delegate auditorium, a 3600sqm exhibition hall and 1600sqm of meeting rooms overlooking Victoria Square.
Its central location, cultural and heritage references, and flexible design layout are key features, with the architects working with local Māori cultural advisers, Matapopore Charitable Trust.
The main entrance to the Centre opens out to Christchurch’s picturesque Ōtākaro Avon River, and has been designed to reflect the fluid curves of the South Island’s braided rivers. The centre is surrounded by green spaces, parks and gardens fronting onto the river. Stories of the local Māori people are interwoven through every aspect of the design.
“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. The venue will be responsive to a wide range of event requirements for up to 2000 delegates, all within easy walking distance of city hotels,” said Mr McIntyre.
The tiered 1400-delegate auditorium is ideal for large plenary sessions, and can be scaled to allow up to three events to run concurrently. It is complemented by break-out space in meeting rooms, from boardroom scale to large flat-floor plenary sessions.
The purpose-built banqueting area has separate capacity to host the total number of convention delegates. An exhibition hall supports the exhibition component of conventions, while public circulation space allows for informal meetings and comfortable pre-event gathering spaces.
Support infrastructure includes dedicated offices for professional conference organisers, a hospitality lounge, boardroom, crew room and speaker preparation rooms.
The Christchurch Centre is a New Zealand Government project and is managed by Accor.