Three finalists chosen for Collet’s Corner design competition

SPACES: 'The Hive' is one of the three finalists and features stacked modules reminiscent of the port and spectacular harbour views from a rooftop farm.

Three finalists have been chosen in a design contest for the Collett’s Corner site in Lyttelton.

There were 31 entries for the competition, which was run by site owner Ohu Developments.

The design brief was for a building which would house public baths, a hotel, retail spaces and a cinema.

Ohu Developments founding partner Camia Young said she was “over the moon” with the three finalists.

The finalists were chosen by a panel made up of Ms Young, an architect; New Zealand Institute of Architects chairman Tony van Raat and Deputy Mayor Andrew Turner. A public vote on the designs also informed the judges’ decision and was given a 25 percent weighting.

“Essentially it was a four-person vote and the public was one of them,” said Ms Young.

The chosen designs are ‘Chance Encounters’ by Auckland studio AHHA; ‘The Hive’ by Christchurch group In-Flux and ‘We Dine Together’ by Auckland collective Oto Group.

A rooftop garden features in two designs while another proposes a rooftop urban farm. Laneways, bridges and courtyards also feature.

The finalists now have eight weeks to further develop their concepts before presenting their designs in September.

Ms Young said it was an extremely difficult decision.

“I would say there were nine that could have gone on to stage two. There were some really strong designs, there wasn’t one that just floated to the top.”

She said each of the chosen teams was relatively young, “which was interesting because they were competing against some extremely established companies; the young teams tended to have more innovative ideas by way of the concepts themselves,” said Ms Young. The winner will be announced on September 14.