Distilling New Brighton

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Plan of the 'Distilling New Brighton' design project

Waterfront urban landscapes reveal a striking discord between nature and architecture. Winds, tides and other patterns of nature are largely invisible where architecture has an opportunity to express them. The ocean fluctuates as a mass while modern architecture stands immobile with no indication of the transitional natural environment.

Waterfront urban peripheries provide a pertinent opportunity to invigorate urban fabric, through creating distinctive experiences by connecting with their unique patterns of fluctuation. These architectural opportunities can provide a space where inhabitants can reflect on their surrounding natural environment. Through spatially divulging patterns and sequences of nature’s fluctuation, strata of environmental material, generally imperceptible in our everyday lives, are uncovered.  

New Brighton in Christchurch is an urban waterfront area in critical demand of a design solution to solve the degradation of its commercial centre. The area has endured several adverse impacts from the aftermath of the Christchurch earthquakes.To regenerate New Brighton and demonstrate its unique qualities, the site needs to be brought to the forefront of its architecture by distilling the flux of its natural environment. 

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Shallow Plane Section
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Waves of Translation Section

The programme of hot pools can provide an immersive experience to reveal the discreet complexity of the site which could allow a palatable experience for human consumption.

A hot pools complex could bring people to the area and provide an opportunity to distil the vast scale and natural processes that define the site. The act of distilling the site is reflected in the programme through the temperature of the pools. Distilling involves separating and condensing liquid through heating and then cooling, the architecture responds by distilling the site through separating and condensing experiences and using temperature to extract the essence of site. The individual pools comprise a whole complex through contrasting physical and visual experiences of temperature, compression and expansion.

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Section of Entry Building
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Render of splash zone pool