2 Interior
3 Auditorium
  • Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
  • Client: Otakaro Ltd
  • Project Value: >NZD 200 Million
  • Due for completion: March 2020

In 2011, Christchurch experienced a 6.3 magnitude earthquake, causing widespread damage to buildings and infrastructure across Christchurch’s city centre.

As a result of the widespread damage the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority and the local government prepared the 2012 Christchurch Central Recovery Plan, with a vision to reinvigorate Christchurch and bring more people back to the area, further encouraging greater investment and economic growth. Christchurch Convention and Exhibition Centre (CCEC) is a part of this changing landscape and will be a catalyst for further development of the city centre. 

The redevelopment of the Christchurch city centre shows that disaster and opportunity can lie close together and success in central Christchurch depends on everyone working together under a shared vision.

The Christchurch Convention and Exhibition Centre is one of the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan’s anchor projects and will provide a much needed convention and conference destination for New Zealand. The Architecturally unique design was inspired by the natural landscape of Canterbury with architecture that is reminiscent of the local rivers and mountains and will attract internationally renowned conferences.

The boutique style building has flexibility and adaptability built in with the ability to hold up to 2,000 guests, allowing it to host a range of events, everything from business conventions to diplomatic conferences. The Centre has been carefully designed with national and international objectives in mind and will include a 1,400 auditorium, a 3,600m2 exhibition hall and 1,600m2 of meeting rooms overlooking Victoria Square.

The Convention and Exhibition Centre will be a part of a new mix-used precinct that will link to an expanded education and arts precinct in the inner city. The wider precinct will contain generous public space along with retail outlets and restaurants. There is also the possibility that a new hotel will be constructed in the precinct which will further boost tourism and the economic performance of Christchurch.

Earthworks have begun on the site and the centre is expected to open in 2020.

Our approach

The WSP Opus team includes our local Christchurch Engineers working together with our Australian Convention Centre specialists in Melbourne, Victoria.

Our Technology Systems team, managed by Roneel Singh are designing a technically complex integrated technology system that includes converged communications systems, broadcast infrastructure, ICT systems and audio-visual systems.

Our Melbourne and New Zealand teams, led by Graeme Smith, Building Services Manager in Christchurch undertook preliminary design works for the development on a 2 year timeframe prior to being engaged to deliver the 28,000 square metre centre.

In addition, we are providing life cycle impact assessments, have issued preliminary advice and are committed to a programme of post occupancy tuning to optimise system performance.

Client benefits

  • The delivery platform is BIM/Revit
  • Christchurch Convention and Exhibition Centre is an example of best practice in international collaboration between New Zealand and Australian design teams, both within WSP and for the project architects, Woods Bagot.
  • Our teams have worked through several options for the CCEC to produce the best possible outcome from a design perspective – a design that was technology driven, highly adaptable and sustainable. 

List of primary services

  • Mechanical
  • Electrical
  • Hydraulics
  • Fire Protection
  • Vertical Transportation
  • Fire Engineering and Life Safety / Steel Assessment
  • Specialist Lighting
  •  Acoustics
  • Sustainability
  • Theatre Consultancy
  • BIM      
  • Post Occupancy Tuning   
  • Life Cycle Cost Impact Assessment    
  • Converged Communication Systems    
  • Broadcast Infrastructure  
  • ICT Systems   
  • Audio Visual Systems