June 21, 2018
July 11, 2017
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Ohu is working with the Lyttelton community to create a building on the Collett's Corner site that will be collectively owned by the community it supports.  

Ohu’s first project is the Collett’s Corner commercial development, a 2,300m2 mixed-use building in the heart of Lyttelton. The purpose of the development is to attract people to Lyttelton through guest accommodation, collaborative workspaces, and bespoke hospitality outlets. Through this development we are challenging conventions of property development by creating a building that builds community through its social, financial and legal design.

The Collett’s Corner and the businesses within it, will be locally owned, generating a distributed income to local residents. The land and building will be held in a company, Collett's Corner Ltd, and shares in the company will be sold in exchange for an equity stake in the property development. An equity crowd funding campaign will be held February 2019 through Pledgme.

The design of the building will facilitate connection between people, both local and visitors, through its considered curation and layout. The purpose is to foster creating places where we connect with one another in meaningful ways.

Design Competition

Ohu is hosting a design competition and inviting architects and graduates to submit ideas for the Collett’s Corner development project. We are appealing to teams that strongly believe in building communities and that see architecture as a way to create places of connection and wellbeing.

Public online voting: July 2nd 8am - July 4th 10pm vote here
Public Exhibition: 10am - 7pm at XCHC (376 Wilsons Rd) July 4th
Announcement of three finalists: July 6th

STAGE 2: DEVELOPED CONCEPT - July 9th - August 31st
Public online voting - September 3rd 8am - September 6th 10pm
Public presentation by each design team: September 6th 6pm venue tbc
Announcement of wining team: September 14th

Please refer to the below links for more information:

Questions and answers

1Where do I send questions?
Please send questions to We will post all questions and answers here.
2Can we share the competition through our networks?
Yes, please do!
3Is there a dwg file for the survey?
Yes, we have one, please request the file from and we will email it through to you. We were unable to post this file type to our website. Please note it is indicative only and a new survey will be required.
4Is this an NZIA endorsed competition?
This competition brief has been developed in alignment with the New Zealand Institute of Architects (NZIA) Competition Guidelines. However, we were unable to obtain the NZIA’s endorsement because of one particular clause. The NZIA competition guidelines state that competition entries should be submitted anonymously. We acknowledge the rationale for this, and the intent to remove any bias and focus the evaluation solely on the merits of the design. However, at the core of Ohu’s values is creating meaningful relationships between people. One way this is accomplished is by working together and acknowledging one another for the contributions we each make. We believe that this happens when the people behind the designs are recognised and valued along with their work. The selection will be based on the designs submitted as well as the experience of the design team and their alignment to Ohu’s values (please refer to the Evaluation Criteria).
5Who can enter the competition? Can non-architects participate?
At least one person on the team needs to be a registered architect, architectural graduate, or an architectural designer. We encourage assembling diverse teams, such as collaborating with artists and engineers. Each team will need to demonstrate their combined skills and experience, and explain how they align to Ohu’s purpose to build community. If your team does not have the appropriate experience and competency to progress the design, Ohu may examine supporting the teams with the additional skills required, should the team be selected.
6Do the team’s need to have experience and knowledge of the local building practice?
In order to meet the evaluation criteria, the teams need to demonstrate that their building design can be successfully executed - that it can meet the local consenting requirements, and is buildable within the construction budget. If your team does not have the required experience, we are open to submissions from teams who are willing to partner with local practitioners in order to meet these requirements.
7Is the competition open to international teams?
Yes! The competition is open to teams from anywhere in the world. The international teams will need to demonstrate how they intend on participating in the people focused design process if they are working from a distance.
8Is public money being used to fund Collett's Corner?
No, this will be a privately funded project. There will be an equity crowd funding campaign in February 2019 which will give people who believe in the project an opportunity to invest in it.
9What were the changes to the 'Rev 1' design brief?
The only change is in the jury. Pip Cheshire will no longer be one of the jurors. He declined to be a juror because the competition is not anonymous. We fully respect his decision and understand his point of view. The third juror is Tony van Raat, NZIA Auckland Branch Chair and former head of Unitec's School of Architecture. Tony has a strong passion for community minded architecture.
10Do the various functions have to remain on the levels as shown in the brief?
No, the designers can use their discretion to distribute the various uses. The key is to create an attraction in Lyttelton where people can have a memorable experience in the company of their friends and family. If the functions are redistributed, the designers will need to bare in mind the Planning / Zoning requirements, such as a commercial activity are required on the ground floor, etc.
11Who are the jurors? And how does the voting work?
There is a total of four votes: 1) The public vote; 2) Andrew Turner, Deputy Mayor and Councillor for the Banks Peninsula; 3) Tony van Raat, NZIA Auckland Branch Chair ; and 4) Camia Young, Founding Partner Ohu. The voting is online here:
12Is there an idea of how many on-site carparks could be considered for this project? Given the proposed building uses?
We met with the Council and the building we are proposing would require well over the amount of parking we can accommodate on the site, so we will need to request a variation when we submit for the resource consent. And just a note, Id highly suggest watching this video ( What we are looking for in this first submission is a concept that would guide the thinking. We are not at the stage of considering how many car parks the building requires, nor should that drive the inherent rason d’etre of the building.
13Working backwards from the $7million budget and using the floor areas from the brief, we found it to be $3043/m2 . We are assuming that this is for base build only and does not include interiors/fit-out?
Regarding the costs, it is a very early estimate and will be adjusted as the design is developed. For now we have used basic cost /sqm rates. The costs do not include fit out. We have included a contingency of 15%.
14Are you strict about the format or can we merge the two A3's together into one large sheet?
We would prefer that all the submissions followed the same format. Thank you for understanding.

Project Background

Ohu started the Collett’s Corner project with a listening phase in 2017 where the local community determined the options to collectively create and own. We distilled the long list of possible uses into two possible building options: Intergenerational and Attraction. Each of the options combined complementary uses so that the respective business thrive alongside one another.

The Intergenerational option focused on creating a place for local residents who find it increasingly difficult to get in and out of town due to the steep hills and stairs, yet they want to remain in Lyttelton and be involved in what is happening. The first and second floor included a mix of accommodation, the ground floor a co-working space for local community groups and residents working from home, and the basement a carpark for collectively owned electric vehicles.

The Attraction option focused on creating a unique destination in Lyttelton to serve locals and visitors alike. Locals voiced wanting a memorable place to take visitors. This option includes a quirky hotel on the first floor, a cosy cinema and bar on the top floor, a souk-like market on the ground floor, and Roman style baths in the basement.

We found the community was equally behind each option and wanted parts of each to be blended. Our feasibility assessments showed that each option would generate strong financial returns for investors and in response to the community feedback, we have developed a third ‘Hybrid’ option which is predominantly attraction based where instead of the souk market at the ground floor we will develop a co-working space, restaurant and retail space.

The programme is to complete the design and planning in 2018, apply for consents in 2019 and complete the construction to open the building at the end of 2020.

Stages of Development

  • Listening & Ideation Phase: Jul -Nov 2017
    Ask the community to share their ideas for the site
    Assess potential options for the project
  • Scoping Phase: Jan - May 2018
    Share options and seek input to choose the preferred option
    Develop feasibility report
    Create financial and legal structures aligned to the project's purpose
    Seek early stage investors
  • Plan & Design Phase: Jun 2018 - Jul 2019
    Seek business operators
    Launch design competition & appoint wining team
    Assemble the project team
    Launch equity crowdfunding campagin (February 2019)
  • Construction Phase: Mar 2019 - Nov 2020
    Build community by building the building, including working bees to develop trade experience
  • Opening: Dec 2020
    Let's celebrate together!

Estimated Costs

  • Land $630,000
  • ~$7mil construction

Opportunities for Investors

  • Equity crowd funding February 2019


  • Project Steward -  Camia Young
  • Project Manager - Karen Sanderson of Catalyst
  • Development Manager - Pete Lawrence of Buildtech
  • Architect - to be appointed through competition


  • Lyttelton residents
  • Investors
  • Future business owners

Press Articles

Camia Young


Camia Young

021 1125 087

Since moving to Christchurch in 2011, Camia has been involved in several community minded initiatives including XCHC (Exchange Christchurch), Te Pūtahi: Christchurch Centre for Architecture and City Making, the Gap Filler Pallet Pavilion, and Studio Christchurch. Before moving to New Zealand, Camia practiced as an Architect in Europe with OMA in Holland and Herzog & de Meuron in Switzerland and worked on several large scale civic projects and urban master plans. Camia serves as a Trustee on the Hillary Institute board, the Ohu Foundation board and she is the Founding Partner of Ohu Ltd and Founding Director XCHC.

If you have any questions or would like to know more about Collett's Corner please get in touch.

Ohu is working with the Lyttelton community to create a unique attraction on London St. The 4 story, 2300m2 building will have hot baths, coworking, shop, restaurant, apart-hotel, cinema and bar.