Studio Christchurch
Corner of High, Lichfield & Manchester
Saturday 25 October, 6pm-midnight

Download the free CityUps+ app from the Apple App Store or Google Play and experience the digital dimension of the city of the future!

Download or print the CityUps Map

The corner of Lichfield, Manchester and High streets came to life Saturday night (25 October) with a panorama of fresh architecture, lights, forms and animation. The Festival of Transitional Architecture’s headline event CityUps transformed two blocks of central Christchurch with a spectacular city of the future designed and created by the next generation of architects in a Studio Christchurch-led collaboration.

More than 10,000 people came into the centre to regenerate the city’s heart at this free, urban-scale event and participate in a buzzing night out of colours and performances. Music came from all directions as crowds eagerly explored and interacted with the students’ luminous, large-scale installations, which were supported by twelve metre high scaffolding.

The students’ elevated, futuristic city comprised thirteen spectacular designs made with a variety of materials – from road cones to diaphanous materials. The creative transformation of vacant space with temporary architecture included a labyrinthine structure, a twelve metre walk-in kaleidoscope where new patterns were created by the public’s movement; towering sheets of lit up bottles, a canopy of floating light shards; a hanging wall of luminous and colourful ducting tubes; a multitude of interconnected, glowing strings and an undulating cascade of blue-glowing orbs.

These futuristic city spaces were activated with live performances and a plethora of activities. From koha haircuts and a bike disco through to live music performances tucked into nooks of the Daze Maze installation, the collective efforts of many brought life to the city for the night. People of all ages joined in for street games including tug-of-war, volleyball and ping pong; the dance hall presented a variety of acts that had people dancing in the street – from Japanese drumming and a Jane Fonda-style aerobics class through to the captivating Abacus Bhangra dancers. The bustling night market, busy food vendors and pop-up bars added to the warm and convivial atmosphere.

FESTA organisers wish to thank Studio Christchurch, all the students, local businesses and performances groups for their months of work leading into this large-scale event and extravaganza. They would also like to thank the public for turning out in force to support the festival and help to animate these creative and temporary city spaces. CityUps was live for one night only and all involved helped to make Christchurch feel like a city again.

You can still experience the digital dimension of CityUps. A special digital app, CityUps+, created on a platform by HIT Lab NZ, allows the public to view a virtual future Christchurch created by architects from across the globe. This free app can be downloaded from Google Play and the Apple App Store.

Students, local businesses, artists, performers and innovative individuals collectively created this great night out.

CityUps involved CPIT’s School of Architectural Studies, Unitec Architecture Department, The University of Auckland’s School of Architecture and Planning and Elam School of Fine Arts in collaboration with Studio Christchurch.

Local businesses, artists and innovative individuals partnered up with student studios, so that each spectacular design had a buzzing urban space associated with it. This night included the participation of the following: Anissa Victoria’s Vintage Twilight Market; Equilibrium with White Elephant; Continuum with Excuse My French Crepe Cart; Antigravity with Cakes by Anna; Aurora with Black Betty; Upload with Chirney Coffee; Glow City with Games Hall; The Daze Maze  with Harry Knight (musician); ScopeCity with Cassels & Sons; Synthesis with Dance Hall; Orbis with Twisted Hop; CHCH2061 with DJ JAB & Influx with RAD Bikes

Images in the slider by Bridgit Anderson and Erica Austin.