February 22nd 2011 changed the lives of Cantabrians forever. Lives were lost, buildings crumbled, families were torn apart, homes were devastated, and livelihoods were destroyed. 

The impact of that event,together with the series of events that followed, will characterise our city forever. However, as a community we are charged with the responsibility of moving forward and rebuilding our lives, our families, and our homes. 

And this is where our story begins…





Why the Cantabrian?

The Cantabrian was born out of a commitment to provide people with a solution to the rebuild of their home that is not only structurally robust, but one that is both appealing and attainable. 

Many of the homes deemed uneconomical to repair are on poorer land and configured to fit typically long narrow sections. Given the complexities of the land, the most obvious and perhaps easiest answer to rebuilding on these properties would have been to adopt a sound, yet standard out of the box solution – something that is safe, sustainable, and compliant with Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) guidelines.

However, the rebuild of a city is an enormous responsibility and today’s decisions will be tomorrow’s legacy. While the structural integrity of our homes is paramount, it is equally important to recognise the benefits of a well-designed space that allows for self-expression, relaxation and general well-being. 

In April 2013 Southern Response, in association with the New Zealand Institute of Architects, launched a competition among registered architects to design the next generation of housing in Canterbury; housing for everyday people that they could live in – for a lifetime.

Particular consideration was to be given to the challenges of building on TC3 land and the structural integrity of the house in the event of seismic activity, together with the principles of modern living.