Pavilions would ‘detract’ from Cathedral

TOO BIG: Christchurch Civic Trust says the proposed pavilions in Regenerate Christchurch's vision for the Square would compete with Christ Church Cathedral.

A heritage group is concerned the proposed pavilions for the Square would “significantly detract” from the nearby Christ Church Cathedral.

Last month Regenerate Christchurch released its long-term vision for Cathedral Square, aimed at bringing people back to the area through a series of interconnected public spaces.

It included three covered pavilions, which would have a “lattice-style” translucent roof, that could host markets and other events.

But the Christchurch Civic Trust says the large pavilions would take the focus away from the Christ Church Cathedral, which will take about 10 years to restore.

Trust acting chairman Ross Gray said while the trust liked some aspects of the vision, the large pavilions would “significantly detract” from the Cathedral and compete with it being so close.

The group has suggested free-standing arcades or cloisters.

He said the trust was calling for the pavilions to be moved to a “more sympathetic” location outside of Cathedral Square where they could be fully appreciated.

“It’s not the thing itself we’re objecting to, it’s where it’s placed,” Mr Gray said.

Instead, the trust has suggested a series of free-standing arcades or cloisters could be installed around the Square.

Mr Gray said they would provide shelter and social spaces.

The cloisters, designed by trust member and design consultant David Thornley, are similar to those in Europe and look like the structures at the entrance of Christ’s College.

Last week, Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration Megan Woods announced the clean up of the Cathedral site would begin at the end of this month.

The $60-$80 million vision for the Square also includes the Cathedral Gardens with trees and water features, Post Office Place with events and meeting spaces, and Library Plaza with other people-friendly areas.

Mr Gray said the trust liked the patterned paving proposed for the Square and the fact the cenotaph remained where it is in the vision. A delivery strategy will now be developed to determine what in the vision could be done and when, and what funding would be needed.

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