Monday, September 4, 2017

New Christchurch: Part 1

Today marks the seventh anniversary of the first earthquake that struck Canterbury early on Saturday morning while most were asleep. Little did we know what was to come! Over the years I have written posts documenting the journey our city has been through, starting with the beautiful heritage buildings that were still standing after the first earthquake. After the second, much more damaging earthquake in February, I decided to do it again. It took a little longer to get access to the CBD to be able to do this, but it was good to see some of the buildings featured in the first post, not only still standing, but strengthened and restored to their former glory. I featured these in two posts, part 1 and part 2.

Now that the rebuild is really gathering momentum, and life is returning to the central city, I have decided to shift my focus to the 'New Christchurch' and give you a taste of how the city is starting to look. This first group of photos I took back in Easter, so more things have happened since then.

The earthquake memorial opened this year just in time for the sixth anniversary of the deadly February earthquake, as a place to reflect and remember those that were lost. I found the siting of it a little poignant, as the building in the background on the right is where I used to work. My redundancy was the catalyst for my journey into self-employment, and the earthquake happened on the one year anniversary of the day I lost my job. So for me it serves of a reminder of 'what was'.

The Bridge of Remembrance was restored and reopened to the public earlier in the year.

The Avon River precinct is being done in stages. This section looking from the Bridge of Remembrance shows the area in front of what used to be known as the 'Strip', a row of restaurants and bars popular in the weekends. This walk along the river used to be part of my daily commute – it was a lovely way to start the day!

The BNZ Centre is opposite Ballantynes, where Whitcoulls and neighbouring buildings used to be. There are several laneways and a courtyard in the middle with food kiosks and areas of seating. I like the different facades that have been used to give the area some interest, and hide the carparks.

The ANZ centre has quite a futuristic (or perhaps back to the future?) feel, with a large atrium and some interesting features. It replaces the triangle centre, and for reference, the Macpac shop is about where KFC used to be.