VIVA Says a Final Goodbye to the Breathe Project

This press release was recently sent out by the Committee:

Jasmax/Viva! - Aerial ViewOne of the finalists in the Breathe Urban Village Anchor Project, The Viva! Sustainable Urban Village was last week told by CERA/CCDU that the Breathe Urban Village idea is no longer being pursued. It has been replaced with a residential precinct concept.

As a result the Viva Project is withdrawing intentions to create a sustainable urban village within the areas controlled by CERA in Christchurch City.

This is an economic decision as the price CERA is expecting for land is not financially viable for a community focused village concept as promoted in the Breathe Competition that they sponsored.

How sad – what was the purpose of the competition?

It turns out that the 58 New Zealand and International entries had no chance of adhering to the competition requirements and developing a community focused village that worked financially. No chance at all!

CERA, you have wasted our time and made a fool of Christchurch on the international stage.

In a recent email received from CERA, following an inquiry into purchasing land for residential development, land prices of $1500m2 up to $5000 & 7000m2 for some high value parcels were quoted. Oh really? Not for residential development in our city. Where are the developers that will take that on, and if they do what price will the housing need to be?

Look how Victoria St has gone ahead in an interesting an innovative way, without constraints that CERA has imposed on the central city.

It is difficult to see how the target of 20,000 people living in the central City will be achieved while CERA holds fast to obtaining the prices it paid for more expensive commercially valued land and expecting residential developments to be viable. And all this on earthquake damaged land.

The Viva! Project has exciting options outside of land controlled by CERA and looks forward to working with Christchurch people and the CCC in creating a sustainable urban village that will be a flag ship for what is possible in city developments.

 

 

 

Viva Responds to Gerry Brownlee

The Christchurch Press gave some coverage to Minister Gerry Brownlee who “slates Breathe Urban Village”, VIVA! Responds below

BrownleeA $30 million urban village planned for central Christchurch “should never have started in the first place”, Gerry Brownlee says.

Construction of the Breathe residential development was due to start in April, but the developers have not yet applied for building consents and there has been no news on the project for months.

Brownlee, who is the Earthquake Recovery Minister, criticised the the eco-friendly, timber-clad village project on Newstalk ZB Friday morning….  More more if you really want to

Christchurch, when do we get our say?

Jane Quigley of The ViVA! Project responded like this:

I’m confused? Minister Brownlee says Breathe Urban Village (Competition?) “should never have started in the first place”.  Has the $100’s and $1000’s of dollars spent on the designs of the 58 NZ and International entries all been wasted?

AerialView_BannerThe Breathe Urban Village Competition gave such hope following the earthquakes; it was meant to be the first anchor project built, something we could all be proud of.

The Viva/Jasmax entry, I was involved in, was one of the finalists. We held 8 design workshops – Christchurch community working with design professionals to create a design the people would be happy to live in. Ours was a sustainable and community focused village.

Now we have Fletcher, chosen above local bids, to develop the east and north frame precincts. “it’s a pretty sad day for Canterbury”.

Viva! is pursuing other land options and remains ready and willing to build however our success needs to be a whole community collaboration.  No one group can successfully create our future in isolation – not CERA, CCC, Ngāi Tahu, Fletcher, nor the people of Christchurch.

Let’s work together with kindness, respect and co-operation, allowing trust and the creativity to arise – then we can create the city we will be proud of.  Our community making a difference and showcasing what is possible in our City.

The following letter was published in the Christchurch Press recently

Viva Ready and Willing

Jasmax / Viva! - North EntryIn 2012 an innovative competition was launched to find a winning design for a sustainable urban village in Christchurch. The competition gave hope following the earthquakes and reflected feedback from the Share an Idea Forum.

The entry from the Viva community, with Jasmax, was one of the four finalists. The Viva Project involves Christchurch people wanting to make a difference in the city they love, building examples of modern day sustainable, community focused urban villages.

Jasmax/Viva! - CourtyardWe had detailed plans, based on extensive community consultation, and 80 parties wanting to buy/purchase in the village. However we did not submit final plans as more time was required to solve the tricky issues of land damage and affordability.

In October 2013 an Italian consortium, partnered with Holloway Builders, were announced winners from over 57 NZ and International entries. There has been little heard of them since although clear expectations were conveyed to the finalists that construction should begin within months of the award.

Viva is pursuing other land options and remains ready and willing to build, but what has happened to Breath

VivaLogoChristchurch, let’s find a way to deliver on the intentions of the Competition. Our community making a difference and showcasing what is possible in our City.

 

Results of Breathe Urban Village Competition

The Viva! Project was absolutely delighted to be a finalist in the Breathe Urban Village Competition, and congratulate the winning team, Rome-based Anselmi Attiani Associated Architects who teamed up with the Cresco Group and Riccarton-based Holloway Builders, for their outstanding effort in creating a design for leading-edge residential living in Christchurch.

BreatheAnnouncement02

The Viva Sustainable Urban Village Project is an exciting development initiated by a group of like-minded Christchurch people who are passionate about their city and are committed to making a real difference following the devastating earthquakes.

Guided by our vision ”To create a vibrant urban village – an innovative and inspiring example of sustainable design and connected community”, the core community team including a number of volunteer design professionals have run numerous integrated design workshops with hundreds of passionate Christchurch people.  The outcomes from these workshops have been tightly aligned with many ideas coming out of the CCC ‘Share an Idea’ initiative and helped set the benchmark of what is wanted by people living in the new Christchurch.

As an example, a central ‘heart’ space as part of a site layout supports a strongly connected community and is designed as a contrast to the urban context.  Our Breathe entry features numerous other strong social, environmental and affordability innovations.

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We thank the competition organisers and our partners Jasmax, Arcus Developments, WT Partnership, eCubed Building Workshop and MLB Consulting for the extraordinary opportunity that the collaboration on the Breathe Urban Village competition provided.

Together we will create a beautiful, ‘people-led’ Christchurch that is viable, liveable, innovative and distinctly sustainable!

For more information please contact:
Jane Quigley (Ph 0274 592 371, info@thevivaproject.org.nz)
or Jürg Hönger (ph 021 633 130, jurg@paradise.net.nz)

Viva update: Breathe competition and development options

The final presentation in last weeks networking meeting followed on nicely from Robin Allison’s presentation about structures and development options.  Jürg Hönger and Jane Quigley gave us an update on the progress with the Breathe Urban Village design competition and then presented a range of development options that they have been researching.

Viva and Jasmax are continuing to work to some tight deadlines with the Breathe competition organisers.  To begin moving to the next level, the Viva core team is now calling on those who have an interest in actually being part of the Viva community – as owners, tenants or investors – to come together to form functional groups to begin planning some of the concrete steps towards realising the vision.  (See workshop invitation.)

    

There are a number of ways a sustainable urban village can be developed:

The options

  1. Developer-led
  2. Partnerships between developers and residential groups (most common in US)
  3. Community-led, employs a professional team such as a Development/Project Manager, freeing the group to focus on building the social community
  4. Community-led, with community taking on all financial risk, development project management and implementation. Often this pathway costing more and taking longer.

For more details see the full presentation.

Full details of the next workshop.

 

 

BREAKING NEWS!! Viva/Jasmax entry selected in Breathe Urban Village Competition!

For the official Press Release click here.

The judges decisions on the Breathe urban village design competition were announced last night and we are thrilled and honoured that the Viva/Jasmax entry has been selected as one of the four finalists to go through to the next stage.
  
The judges particularly commented on our strong community involvement and our very high sustainability standard. Our Living Village is based around three courtyards with a community centre near the heart and a mix of houses, apartments and a small amount of retail. It is net zero energy, very efficient in water use and the physical design encourages a strong sense of community, with many informal gathering places and layers between private and common areas. The landscape and architectural design acknowledges the history of the land, its natural environment and the cultures that have passed this way.

The Viva/Jasmax team with Christchurch Mayor, Bob Parker

Here are our entry’s three design boards, illustrating our design with respect to People, Place and Planet.

The Press article: Urban Village project finalists chosen (1 March 2013)

You can see the main three design panels for all 68 entries on the Breath website http://www.futurechristchurch.co.nz/breathe and the top 22 (not 58 at stated in The Press) on the large panels in Worcester St between the council chambers and the Art Gallery.

There are wonderful things in all the entries so I think we are all looking forward to exploring them in more detail and seeing what we can learn!

We are looking forward to being given within the next few weeks more detailed briefing from the judges about what they liked about our design and what they would like to see in the next stage, and while the Jasmax design team is in Christchurch for that, we plan to have a Viva community meeting with the architects and the core Viva team involved in the design to share a lot more of the design thinking and detail, and seek your reactions. So more details about that as soon as we have the date.

The next phase of the process is to add a lot more flesh to the bones of the design, and in particular to get much more specific about costings and how we can make the development become a reality.