Christchurch Festival of Transitional Architecture

Aug 22, 2013
  • Article by Online Editor
  • Designer

Above: (1) Silhouette Carnival and (2) Altitude, Unitec, LUXCITY at FESTA 2012. Photos by Bridgit Anderson; (3) In Your Face, University of Auckland, LUXCITY at FESTA 2012. Photo by Bridgit Anderson; (4) Halo, Auckland University of Technology, LUXCITY at FESTA 2012. Photo by Mark Gore; (5) Free Theatre’s ‘The Friar’ for Canterbury Tales, FESTA 2013. Photo by Stuart Lloyd-Harris, Free Theatre Christchurch

A festival exploring urban regeneration ideas and the ways transitory interventions can revitalise the city will again be held in Christchurch this year.

The Festival of Transitional Architecture (FESTA) was first held in October 2012 as a means to engage the public in the renewal of the city following the devastating earthquake of 22 February 2011. As a result of the disaster, 80 per cent of inner-city Christchurch has been demolished.

The headline event in 2012, LUXCITY, drew 20,000 people into the Christchurch city centre for a one-night event featuring 16 light installations.

FESTA 2013 will be held in Christchurch from 25-28 October 2013 and will encompass a series of large-scale collaborative projects and interventions in the former Red Zone (the area that had been cordoned off and remained inaccessible to the public until June 2013). Vacant sites and empty buildings will be used to encourage urban activity in the CBD, inviting the public to participate in the remaking of the city.

The FESTA installations will form a temporary cityscape, with the intention that the transitional projects offer short-term renewal and also help to inform the long-term recovery and rebuilding of the city. The headline event – a processional performance of The Canterbury Tales – will be supported by a program of art events, public picnics, urban agriculture, performance and cinema.

Festival organisers are currently calling for expressions of interest from those wishing to present a transitional project or event during the festival. For more information, visit

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