The Jasmax & Viva! Project ‘Living Village’ design entry was shortlisted in the Christchurch ‘Breathe’ competition. The competition saw designers around the world entering a design competition aimed at rejuvenating a neighbourhood in the heart of Christchurch City.
The ‘Living Village’ team comprised the Viva! Project, a 300-strong collective of Christchurch citizens passionate about creating a sustainable rebuild for Christchurch, and award-winning New Zealand architectural practice, Jasmax, with additional support provided by team of consultants and developers – people whose mission is to create affordable and sustainable living environments.
Jasmax Principal and Design Team Leader Greg Boyden commented, “The collaborative vision for the ‘Living Village’ community is to create an innovative village model, based on social, environmental, cultural and financial sustainability. The design incorporates a housing model that optimises the needs of the individual as well as the wider community”.
The combined strengths of the Viva! Project and Jasmax make for a powerful team. Viva represents the collective voice and participatory leadership of the people of Christchurch. Jasmax brings cutting-edge design experience, as well as the sustainable values of the Living Building Challenge – the built environment’s most rigorous performance standard.
The judging panel, including international judge Kevin McCloud commended the design stating “The village uses natural materials and native plants to harness rainwater and capture energy from the sun to deliver an exemplar of ‘one-planet’ living. The design delivers a strong sense of place and community created through its diverse housing and shared amenities surrounded by an inviting garden city setting. A further strength of this unique community-based development model is that its modest approach addresses housing affordability issues”.
The design draws on local identity and wisdom reflecting both Tangata Whenua and Pakeha influences. Innovative design features include solar electric panels, organic food-growing areas, on-site water treatment, a café, green space, a community house and positioning of homes to encourage social interaction.
Viva! Project Co-Convener, Jane Quigley said “Being short-listed in the competition was a huge honour and an endorsement for all involved in this ‘people-led’ design. We believe that such a Living Village will serve as a flagship example of what can be achieved not only in Christchurch, but around the world. We also commend the organisers of the competition for giving the people of Christchurch the opportunity to have an authentic say in the rebuild and revitalisation of their city”.