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Rārākau: Riccarton Centre


From the Resene Total Colour Awards gallery – Christchurch

For Rārākau the Christchurch City Council requested a new robust, multi-use facility that embraced the diversity of ethnicities of those who reside in Riccarton.

Rārākau: Riccarton Centre is a Christchurch City Council project forming part of Council Community Facilities Re-Build programme of works, addressing several earthquake damaged civic buildings throughout Christchurch. For Rārākau the Christchurch City Council requested a new robust, multi-use facility that embraced the diversity of ethnicities of those who reside in Riccarton.

Rārākau: Riccarton Centre

The new 750m² two-storied community facility contains public spaces such as a spacious hall, customer service area, a large community kitchen and several meeting rooms. The first floor contains the more functional spaces such as the staff office, large activity rooms and the community governance board room.

The robust exterior walls are precast concrete softened with recessed forest patterns, timber and vibrant colours while the commonly used interior spaces feature ply with an applied grey wash for hardwearing spaces that will stand the use of many forms of community use for years to come.

Riccarton Centre - car park

Rārākau: Riccarton Centre exterior

Rārākau has been designed to be robust, flexible, welcoming and to simultaneously incorporate numerous user groups resulting in a positive social and economic impact for the local community. Rārākau has been well received by the wider community and stakeholder groups and is seen as a valuable asset to the community with the building’s community hall and meeting rooms being regularly booked by community user groups.

The vision for Rārākau is a bold, confident and eye-catching facility that stands out amongst its busy, strongly urbanised setting of Clarence Street and Riccarton Road.

Riccarton Centre - Christchurch

Riccarton Centre - bold exterior

Design inspiration was drawn from the nearby Riccarton Bush, one of Canterbury’s few remaining remnant native forests and perhaps the most significant cultural and historical element of the vastly multi-cultural suburb of Riccarton.

The towering Kahikatea trees found within Riccarton bush inspired the tall exterior timber feature columns while the bold paint colours of dark red Resene Rustic Red, dark yellow Resene Hot Toddy, silver grey Resene Surrender and green Resene Marsh Green are inspired by the berries, flowers and bark of the Kahikatea, Puahou and Pate trees. The exterior is finished in Resene Lumbersider low sheen waterborne paint, and clear finished with either Resene Concrete Clear or Resene Uracryl GraffitiShield.

Architectural specifier: Lachlan Munro, Beca Ltd
Building contractor: Watts & Hughes
Client: Christchurch City Council
Painting contractor: G.K Fyfe Painting & Decorating
Photographer: Cameron Reeve


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