Open Christchurch 2024: Friday 3 to Sunday 5 May

Building lovers and architecture fans! Open Christchurch is back in May. In 2024, there'll be 50 open buildings, 4 guided walks, 3 landscapes, 3 special events and over 40 activities.

Make sure to book for any sessions that require booking - some sessions are already booked out!

What's on at Tūranga

Tūranga is home to the Open Christchurch Info Desk at He Hononga | Connection, Ground Floor from 10am to 5pm on both Saturday and Sunday. For the duration of the festival, wonderful Open Christchurch volunteers will be on hand at the Info Desk to answer any questions, help you plan your festival experience and support with bookings.

Tūranga Sketch Tour: Focus on Cecil Wood
Sunday 5 May 10am to 12noon

Join us for a relaxing morning exploring the work of one of Christchurch’s most influential early 20th century architects, Cecil Wood. We’ll tour an exhibition of his drawings at Tūranga, then stroll down to the Public Trust Building to spend time chatting and sketching on location in one of his buildings. Don’t forget to check out our afternoon creative workshop where you can learn how to turn your sketch into a laser etching.

All levels of artistic experience welcome.  

Where: We'll meet on He Hononga | Connection, Ground Floor, Tūranga, visit the exhibition in our gallery, then walk to the Public Trust Building at 152 Oxford Tce. The Public Trust Building is located 500m from Tūranga. Wear clothing suitable for the weather and comfortable walking shoes.

Materials: Sketch materials provided, or feel free to bring your own. BYO blankets/cushions/portable stools, plus water bottles & snacks.

  • Ages: 14+ years
  • Cost: $5.85, including booking fee. 
  • Bookings required: Book online


Tūranga Creative Studio: Make Your Own Laser Etching
Sunday 5 May 2pm to 4pm
Taupuni Waihanga / Production Studio on Auahatanga | Creativity, Level 4

Learn how to transform your architectural pen and ink drawings into laser etchings using the creative equipment on offer in our Production Studio. Simply bring along an ink-based line drawing from the morning’s “Tūranga Sketch Tour: a Focus on Cecil Wood” (or something similar that you have completed earlier) and we’ll guide you through the process of making your very own plywood etching to take home. You’ll also have an opportunity to tour the rest of Tūranga's creative facilities - to inspire your future artistic projects. 

Materials: provided - bring along an ink-based line drawing from the morning’s “Tūranga Sketch Tour” (or something similar that you have completed earlier)

Ages: 14+ years
Cost: $9.02 (including booking fee)
Bookings required: Book online


Tūranga audio tour: Te rere o te manu
Saturday 4 May 11am and 12.30pm; Sundday 5 May 11am

This tour embodies the ascent of our birds as we soar into the inner workings of how Te Kete Wānanga o Tūranga came to be. Find our manu friends and other gems hidden throughout and get to understand what each papa (floor) represents to us.

Free, bookings required. Book online.


Engineering Tour with Craig Lewis & Tim Shannon (Lewis Bradford)
Sunday 5 May 2pm to 3pm

Tūranga, Christchurch’s new Central Library is one of the key anchor projects in the Christchurch rebuild. Lewis Bradford Consulting Engineers is proud to have carried out the structural engineering on this complex and multi-award winning  project.

Tūranga has been designed incorporating modern low-damage technology to sustain minimal structural damage during a large earthquake. During this tour, you will see the new technologies that were applied in the structural design of this building (rocking walls, dampers and other types of energy dissipators). The design project engineer will describe how these elements work together and what special considerations were followed.


Talks at Tūranga

A love affair with Christchurch modern houses
Saturday 4 May 5.30pm to 7.30pm
$10 plus booking fee, bookings required
Tautoru / TSB Space

Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga
An evening at Tūranga that explores Christchurch Modern houses and the experiences of loving, living in and caring for these dwellings. We start with a twenty-minute film screening of ‘Four Houses from Four Decades’ (2008) and continue with a brief talk from Dr Jessica Halliday and a panel discussion on four additional houses. Dr Rosemary Baird chairs the panel with the four owners, as they discuss what it takes to conserve these mid-century properties for another 60 years. 

New foundations
Sunday 5 May 3pm to 4pm
$5 plus booking fee, bookings required
Tautoru / TSB Space

Freerange Press

Five young storytellers and writers share their reflections on one of their favourite buildings or spaces in Ōtautahi Christchurch and imagine another in a quick-fire celebration of words and the city.

First, these rangatahi explore our urban fabric by sharing their knowledge of Ōtautahi. Then, they document what is missing in the city by sketching out a longed-for space. Join us to hear stories that are stored in our architecture and revealed by our younger residents.

Presented with thanks to CCC’s Intangible Heritage Fund


Drawing connections - Exploring the architecture of Cecil Wood exhibition (on until 19 May)

While you visiting for Open Christchurch, visit the Drawing Connections exhibition at Te Pito Huarewa / Southbase Gallery. This exhibition uses the architectural drawings of Cecil Wood to explore the cultural and historical context of Ōtautahi's built environment.

More about Tūranga's architecture

Listen to an audio tour of Tūranga about the building's cultural narrative with Joseph Hullen and Carsten Auer. 

Find out more about Tūranga's architecture and the artworks and cultural narrative at its heart.

Architecture resources

Check our page highlighting all things architecture.

More about Open Christchurch

Run by Te Pūtahi Centre for Architecture and City Making, Open Christchurch celebrates Christchurch’s most exceptional architecture by opening buildings to the public for free and offers people the opportunity to connect with their city by discovering new spaces or getting up close to the buildings they love.

More Open Christchurch posts