Project: The SEED

Gross Area: -

Year: 2011

Status: Runner-up award in Design for Post-Earthquake Resilience of Cities: Multi-disciplinary Design Ideas Competition

Role: Design collaboration with Superlight ApS, Copenhagen


The project SEED is a design proposal for an international design competition organised by the New Zealand Society of Earthquake Engineering held shortly after the major earthquakes in Christchurch in 2011. The competition theme is Design for Post-Earthquake Resilience of Cities : Multi-disciplinary Design Ideas Competition. Our competition proposal site was at Latimer Square, Christchurch.

Floating in the wind                                                                                                                                                                  Hagley Park                                                                                                                                                                                a whirling seed lands gently on the ground

The seed as a symbol of growth and recovery becomes the design concept. The SEED - a timber grid shell dome is a multi-purpose venue for performance arts, conferences, exhibitions, indoor sports and accommodates an Emergency Response Centre (ERC).

The proposal addresses the following aspects in earthquake resilience:

  • Pre-planning: The double layer timber grid shell, an efficient and environmentally sustainable structural form is able to mitigate the earthquake impact with its high flexibility construction. Its reinforced concrete foundation slab is designed to float in the event of liquefaction or flood.
  • Response phase: The Emergency Response Centre (ERC) serves as a communication centre for rescue police, social and health authorities to facilitate effective response and recovery phases. In the event of earthquake or disasters, such as flood or tornado, the building is able to provide temporary shelter to the people.
  • Reconstruction phase: The SEED - a multi-purpose venue in lush landscaping and urban skate park would improve the functional and social regeneration of the community immensely. It would create an economic upturn to the surrounding precinct by encouraging a vibrant mixed-use environment of business, cafes, restaurants and retail shops.

The SEED is a fluid architecture of beauty, strength and tranquility in the times of turmoil.