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Top Design and Architecture spots in Christchurch

With amazing new architecture and design popping up constantly alongside some of Christchurch’s more classic icons, the city is a great spot to get creative and gram up a storm.

Here are our top spots.

The Tannery

This boutique shopping emporium boasts stunning architecture and art. If you head to an evening gig at Blue Smoke, be sure to pop into the main arcade to take a pic of the gorgeous ceiling.

The Arts Centre

Home to one of the most significant collections of heritage buildings in New Zealand, The Arts Centre is a must visit if you are a fan of beautiful architecture. Originally the University of Canterbury’s town site (founded in 1873), where Sir Ernest Rutherford was based and Dame Ngaio Marsh studied, it is now a great venue for concerts, a relaxed hang out and a great place to shop (especially at the iconic Fudge Cottage).

Cardboard Cathedral

Designed by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, the Cardboard Cathedral is a must to visit. Rising to a height of 21 metres, the materials include cardboard tubes and spectacular triangular pieces of stained glass.

New Regent Street

An Instagrammer’s dream, New Regent Street is full of distinctive pastel colours – you cannot help but get your camera out! The beautiful Spanish Mission architecture dates back to 1932, and the street is now filled with boutique shops and eateries, including a fabulous ice cream shop – Rollickin!

BNZ Centre

Formerly known as Cashel Square, the BNZ Centre now houses office blocks and great foodie options – think New York Deli and Hachi & Hatchi! It’s a great spot to grab a bite to eat before shopping in Cashel Mall and The Crossing.

Justice Precinct

The Christchurch Justice & Emergency Services Precinct houses all the justice sector agencies and the city’s civil defence and emergency management in one central location – pretty cool if you ask us! If you are a fan of Instagram, you need to stop by to take a pic of the awesome wall.

Litchfield St Car Park

Another great spot in the city to take a gram-worthy photo is the Lichfield Street carpark building – it connects to Ballantynes, which is also pretty handy!

Christchurch Art Gallery

Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu opened in 2003 and features a spectacular flowing glass and metal façade depicting the koru and Avon River/Ōtākaro. The building houses nine exhibition areas and fabulous photo opportunities, including the bull on the piano in front of the gallery!

Isaac Theatre Royal

Interestingly, there have been three ‘Theatre Royals’ in Christchurch, with the first being a wooden building opened in 1863! The current theatre opened in 1908 and underwent extensive repair and restoration activities following the Canterbury earthquakes of 2010 and 2011. With its traditional horseshoe-shaped dress circle and gallery, elaborate plaster decorations and painted dome ceiling, it is a real stunner. 

Fancy a night out in Christchurch? Discover fantastic 'Afterdark Adventure'.