This new building will feature a double-level commercial space on the ground floor and ten one-bedroom apartments across the upper two levels. The building is crowned with a rooftop terrace, offering residents a space to connect, socialise and unwind.
The site was previously home to the Harbour Light Theatre, built in 1916. After suffering damage in the Canterbury earthquakes of 2010 and 2011, the original building needed to be demolished shortly after.
The owners of the site wanted to rekindle the spirit of the theatre’s legacy, whilst revitalizing the area with spaces where communities could be cultivated.
Following Ignite's appointment on the project, a design response was crafted by our Christchurch studio, addressing the site’s heritage and drawing upon concepts for meaningful urban neighbourhoods.
"24 London Street's design was to be above all community-minded, with spaces that encourage residents to interact and offer seamless connections with the wider neighbourhood."
The proposed building pays homage to the preceding theatre, with its classical columns referenced in the vertical elements of the new building’s façade. The pedestrian laneway is lined with wide arches, a nod to Lyttelton’s heritage and the Californian style in which the original theatre was built.
Spaces to foster community, particularly in green or outdoor areas is a key design consideration. Primarily demonstrated in the rooftop space, residents can meet, socialise, and enjoy incredible views of the bustling harbour. Drawing on modern co-living concepts, this area offers a shared laundry and a place to grow food, complemented downstairs with a wintergarden. The theme of vegetation is continued to the rear of the site, with more outdoor space for residents to enjoy.
On the ground floor, the commercial space is a generous 5.5mhigh, offering a welcoming ambience to those passing by on the adjoining sheltered laneway. Pops of colour are used in circulation areas, adding glimpses of visual interest from the street. The double-height half-arch entrance for residents acts as a wayfinding device, and with bench seating inside, provides another opportunity for residents to cross paths and connect.
Along with servicing the upstairs residents, the commercial space will attract wider Lyttelton locals, reinforcing a connection between those living in the apartments and the surrounding community.