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Stage one complete in Christchurch airport’s nature-inspired redevelopment

It’s been a tumultuous time for Christchurch, but as far as its main travel hub, it’s all go with stage one of the airport’s $237 million terminal redevelopment now complete. And that’s in large part thanks to a collaborative effort between architectural firm Warren and Mahoney and the aviation design folks at Hassell. 

Among the features of the new development is a 125 metre long Timaru basalt wall running the full length of the check in hall. The dark, textured stone wall carries the imprint of the rivers of the Canterbury plains. 

And reflecting the landscape of the Canterbury area and beyond has been a key design component of the development, according to Warren and Mahoney project director Bill Gregory, who says the buildings interior contains reminders of the landscape in floor patterns, colours and finishes. 

“The Airport wanted a special building which was memorable and reflected the raw, natural beauty of the South Island, along with its location in the Garden City. But it also needed to perform with singular efficiency as an integrated domestic and international terminal serving millions of passengers and visitors every year,” he says. 

But as well as landscape attributes, the building also contains a dose of sustainability credentials. According to Gregory, one of those features involves air conditioning that is provided by extracting from or p[assign energy into artesian water, pumped underground. 

Jim Boult, Christchurch International Airport’s chief executive, says once the development is fully completed the city will have an asset that is well and truly future-proofed, and well positioned to continue delivering value to the entire South Island.
 
“90 per cent of overseas visitors who visit the South Island come through Christchurch airport and so we play an important part in the South Island’s $4.5 billion tourism market,” he says.  “Despite the disruption caused by the earthquakes, this new terminal will continue to be something the city and the region can be really proud of for the next 20 years or more.”

Development of the airport will continue through into 2013 and you can monitor progress on the airport’s website HERE. 

The Christchurch airport control tower—the tallest in New Zealand—was the feature of the airport’s redevelopment to be completed. The $6 million tower opened in 2009 and won a New Zealand Institute of Architecture award in 2010.