The asking rate

A stunning new sporting facility in the heart of Christchurch

Hagley Oval.

International cricket is returning to Christchurch – and it’s doing so in the heart of the Garden City. An anchor project for the city, the redeveloped Hagley Oval focuses on providing a high-quality cricket experience – a boutique stadium that is world class in its design and construction.

As envisioned by Athfield Architects, the new pavilion needed to align with and compliment the surrounding Hagley Park environment. Grouped with existing buildings, and partially buried within the embankments to minimise the visual impact, the design of the facility evokes a sophisticated yet serene ‘village green’ ambience. While the final result might exude calm the lead-up to the opening has been focused, frenetic and, ultimately, flourishing.

Working in partnership with the Christchurch City Council and the NZ Cricket Association we took a fast-track approach with Early Contractor Involvement. Collaborating closely with the consultant team, Southbase enjoyed working with many key personnel who were locals – some who have 20-year relationships with the company.

The project always demanded a tight timeframe – the Oval needed to be finished well before the start of the event in February 2015. It didn’t help when a year’s worth of rain arrived over a brief period in the middle of winter either, meaning the site had to be completely stripped out and re-established.

Resource consent also restricted building to between 7am and 6pm with truck movements only allowed between 9am to 4pm. We brought in more skilled labour to cope with such demands (the job very much a seven-day a week project) and, with sound connections, sturdy relationships and utter professionalism, ensured delays were mitigated and expectations met.

Building futures

An education in project management at St Margaret’s College

St Margaret's.

Christchurch has learned much about the importance of community, commitment and enduring professionalism in the face of adversity. With a resolute focus on the fantastic opportunity the rebuild presents, one school has taken these lessons to heart and emerged with a truly world-class learning environment.

As part of the $70 million St. Margaret’s College rebuild the Winchester Precinct was an important focus of the school’s future. Athfield Architects provided the form this future would take. The two new structures, a three storey and two storey building, provided a contemporary presence to the school while housing unique spaces for classrooms, performing arts spaces, science and school administration.

The importance of the project was not lost on Executive Principal Gillian Simpson who stated, “the buildings are a tribute to the St. Margaret’s rebuild… a key milestone.” Gillian believed that only “with a strong sense of loyalty and commitment” between project partners could the buildings symbolise the school’s commitment to excellence in teaching and learning.

The tender process was put out for a company that could match this philosophy, build successful working relationships and deliver the highest quality final result. Southbase proved the right choice. Straightforward clarity was an important aspect of the initial process. Here, an open book approach delivered less risk and greater transparency in the costing work.

A huge range of stakeholders requires consideration with such a project, as does the effect of construction on the surrounding neighbourhood. With approximately 600 workers through the site at least once and a range of deliveries required noise and disruption needed to be kept to a minimum. Additional challenges didn’t help. A massive storm delayed work for a considerable period and longer workdays were required to make up for lost time.

The extra effort has been worth it however. Work on the Winchester Precinct has been less disruptive than other school projects and it looks set to gain an excellence endorsement come March 2015.

This project is completed, 14 months duration including the fit-out.



Ahead of the curve

On Cambridge Terrace a new building stands out from the pack

151 Cambridge Terrace.

Recent seismic history has given Christchurch a great deal of twists and turns. Now, with the vision of a highly regarded Cantabrian investor and the design and construction skills of several key companies, an acclaimed local building is providing some history of its own.

The six-storey structure on Cambridge Terrace stands out for a number of reasons. The design is eye-catching, the engineering jaw dropping and, occasionally, the construction has been head scratching.

Jasmax architect Ken Powrie wanted the building to match the flow and path of the nearby Avon River, which he describes as “the one constant following the earthquake”. It wasn’t just the bold curves of 151 he had in mind. With the entire structure resting on triple pendulum bearings the building literally floats above ground. It means it will be isolated from earthquake movement – a key safety requisite of the brief provided by site owner Stephen Collins.

For Stephen the unique design and materials were mandatory. While some of his contemporaries shifted to other, less challenging landscapes further north, the Christchurch local advocate wanted to give back to the city that he “feels an affinity to”. That’s why as an investor he wanted to build, “a legacy for Christchurch.”

To do so he needed a well-honed unit working closely together. That’s where we came in, working in an Early Contractor Involvement process alongside the client and design team. While ECI can introduce some challenges it also can provide key dynamic gains

– collaboration sparks innovation and building commences faster. It is a testament to the importance of relationships for our company that we partner with people who share the same mentality.

This was the first major build for Southbase and we knew all eyes were on us as we negotiated the unique and challenging project. The long-term relationships we’ve enjoyed with Stephen and other key project figures have helped ensure the project stays to budget and on time. Now, with the Deloitte integrated tenant fit out on the top two levels of the building, 151 Cambridge looks to provide the vanguard for a vital new professional area in Christchurch.

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