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Contest opens for Christchurch earthquake memorial

An international design competition has been launched for a £3.5 million memorial to the 185 victims of the Christchurch earthquake

The city centre momument is planned as a ‘unique and lasting’ reminder of the tragic event which devastated Christchurch in February 2011.

Planned to complete in 2016, the scheme will occupy a stretch of the Ōtākaro-Avon River between Montreal Street bridge and Rhododendron Island.

The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority-backed monument is expected to provide a ‘quiet, contemplative space’ also capable of hosting large events of more than 2,000 people.

The facility will be the venue for formal civic events and an annual memorial gathering on 22 February. It will remember the 185 people who died and acknowledge those around the world who helped in the aftermath.  

Around £2.2 million has been earmarked for the memorial itself and a further £1.2 million put aside for a tree-lined path connecting the area to the city.

The destruction saw the city centre closed to the public until July last year and only 20 per cent of Christchurch’s original buildings are expected to remain once clearance is complete.

Many areas are no longer suitable for residential use and thousands of homes are being demolished and rebuilt elsewhere.

Six shortlisted teams will be announced on 20 October and invited to proceed to the competition’s second stage.

Each finalist will receive £5,000 and have until late November to further develop their designs.

The winner – set to be announced in late January – will be commissioned to complete the project.

The deadline for registration is 12 August.






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